Results tagged ‘ Wil Nieves ’

The Phils three-game winning streak come to an end as they are two-hit by the Tigers, losing 1-0

Philadelphia_PhilliesThe Phils’ winning streak ends at three games as they get two-hit by the Tigers, losing 1-0.

The Tigers take the lead in the top of the first as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Miguel Cabrera hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, knocking in Ian Kinsler, who had just tripled, as the Tigers take a 1-0 lead. That would hold up as the final score as Cliff Lee and the Phils’ bullpen would only give up nine more hits and a walk in the game, while the Tigers’ pitching staff would keep the Phils’ offense grounded, giving up only two hits, both singles, and three walks in the game.

Cliff Lee (1-2, 2.55) took the lost as he pitched five innings, giving up a run on five hits and a walk, while striking out seven. Phillippe Aumont, Antonio Bastardo, B.J. Rosenberg and Jake Diekman would combine for four scoreless innings, giving up four hits (Aumont (1), Bastardo (1), Rosenberg (2)) between them, while striking out 4 (Aumont (1), Bastardo (1), Diekman (2)). Justin Verlander (2-0, 0.00) got the win as he threw six and a third shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out seven. Phil Coke collected his fourth hold of the spring as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a walk, while striking out a batter. Al Alburquerque received his second hold of the spring as he threw a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out two. Blaine Hardy collected his first save of the spring as he threw a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.

The Phils had only two hits in the game, both singles, a two-out single in the first by Chase Utley and a two-out single in the eighth by Wil Nieves. The Phils also had three walks in the game (Ryan Howard, Reid Brignac (2)), while the defense committed two errors (Howard, Cesar Hernandez), had an outfield assist (Clete Thomas), and performed three double plays, while Cliff Lee picked off a runner.

The Phils (9-16-3) will play their last Grapefruit League game tomorrow afternoon against the Blue Jays (13-13). The game will be played at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, and is to start at 1:05 PM EDT. The Phils will send to the mound A.J. Burnett (1-2, 7.53) while the Blue Jays will counter with Drew Hutchison (0-1, 2.79). The Phils will be trying to end their Grapefruit League season on a good note, before heading north for their final two spring training games at Citizens Bank Park with the Pirates.

Yesterday, the Phils lose their third straight spring training game, as they lose to the Rays, 6-1.

Philadelphia_PhilliesYesterday afternoon, the Phils get creamed for five runs in the bottom of the seven inning, before they lose to the Rays, 6-1.

The Phils took the lead in the top of the fourth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Wil Nieves hits an RBI single, knocking in Leandro Castro, who had earlier doubled, then stopped at third base on Freddy Galvis’ single, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, before Galvis, who had earlier singled, is thrown out at third base, 9-5, for the inning’s second out. The score would remain 1-0 Phils until the bottom of the seventh as the Rays tied the game up at one-all as, with two men on, and with one man out, Justin Christian, who had earlier walked, then stopped at third base on Jeremy Moore’s double, would score on Vince Belnome’s fielder’s choice ground ball to first baseman Darin Ruf, beating the throw to the plate, as Moore, who had earlier doubled, would move up to third base on the throw home. The Rays then took the lead three batters later, with the bases now loaded, after Moore is thrown out on a fielder’s choice throw to the plate on Eddy Rodriguez’s ground ball to the pitcher Michael Stutes, 1-2, for the inning’s second out, while Belnome would move up to second base, and then a walk to Jerry Sands, moving up both runners, and with two men out,  Ray Olmedo hits a two-run single, knocking in Belnome and Rodriguez, giving the Rays a 3-1 lead, while sending Sands over to third base. The Rays then made it a 5-1 lead as Cole Figueroa hits a two-run double, scoring both Sands and Olmedo, before going on to third on the throw to the plate. The Rays added to their lead in the bottom of the eighth as, with two men out. Moore hits a solo home run, his first home run of the spring, giving the Rays a 6-1 lead. That would be the final score as Kirby Yates threw a 1-2-3 ninth.

Roberto Hernandez pitched three strong innings, giving up just a hit, while striking out three. Jeff Manship recorded his first hold of the spring as he recorded two scoreless innings, giving up a hit, as he struck out two. Phillippe Aumont also recorded his first hold of the spring as he pitched a scoreless inning, hitting a batter. Michael Stutes recorded his first blown save of the spring before taking the lost (0-1, 22.50), as he pitched an inning, giving up five runs on three hits and two walks. Justin De Fratus pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit. Matt Moore pitched one and two-thirds innings, giving up two hits and a walk, while striking out two. C.J. Riefenhauser pitched an inning and a third, giving up a hit and a walk. Heath Bell pitched an inning, giving up a run on three hits, while striking out a batter. Brandon Gomes and Josh Lueke combined for two scoreless innings, giving up a walk between them (Gomes), while striking out two (Gomes). Merrill Kelly (1-0, 0.00) got the win as he pitched two scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out one. Kirby Yates threw a 1-2-3 inning.

The Phils had seven hits in the game, with Maikel Franco leading the team with two hits, both singles. Ben Revere (Single), Darin Ruf (Single), Leandro Castro (Double), Freddy Galvis (Single) and Wil Nieves (Single, RBI), had the other five Phils’ hit. The Phils also had four walks (Dom Brown (2), Ruf, pinch hitter Reid Brignac), and a stolen base (Revere (1)), in the game, while the defense performed a doubleplay.

The Phils’ next game is being played tonight against the Blue Jays at Bright House Field in a game already in progress.

The Phils drop their second Grapefruit League game as their give up five runs in the middle innings, as they lose to the Blue Jays, 7-5.

Philadelphia_PhilliesThe Phils lose their second straight spring training game to the Blue Jays as they lose, 7-5.

The Phils took the lead in the top of the first as, with the bases loaded, via a lead-off single by Ben Revere, who then went to third base on shortstop Jose Reyes’ force attempt throwing error to second base of Bobby Abreu’s grounder, while Abreu was safe at first and a walk to Darin Ruf, moving Abreu up to second base, and with one man out, Revere would score on catcher Erik Kratz’s passed ball, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while both Abreu and Ruf would move up a base. The Blue Jays would tie the game up at one-all in their half of the first as, with a runner on second, and with one man out, Jose Bautista hits an RBI double, knocking in Moises Sierra, who had earlier doubled. The Phils retook the lead in the top of the third as, with a man on first, and with nobody out, Ruf hits a two-run home run, his first home run of the spring, knocking in Abreu, who had started the inning off with a walk, giving the Phils a 3-1 lead. The Blue Jays would get a run back in their half of the third as, with a runner on first, and with two men out, Bautista hits an RBI double, his second double of the ballgame, scoring Sierra, who had earlier reached base on first baseman Ruf’s missed catch error of third baseman Cody Asche’s throw to first, making it a 3-2 Phils’ lead. The Blue Jays tied the game up again at 3-all in the bottom of the fourth as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Kenny Wilson hits an RBI single, knocking in Melky Cabrera, who was earlier safe at first base on a 6-4 force out, forcing out at second base Brett Lawrie, who had started the inning off with a single, then moved up to second base on Maicer Izturis’ single, then went to third on Kratz’s fly out to right, while Izturis, who had earlier singled, would stop at third base. The Blue Jays then took a 4-3 lead a batter later as Reyes hits an infield single to short, scoring Izturis, while sending Lawrie up to second base. The Blue Jays increased their lead in the bottom of the fifth as, with runners on the corners, and with nobody out, Lawrie hits an RBI double, scoring pinch-runner Kevin Nolan, who was pinch-running for Bautista, who had started the inning off with a single, then went to third base on Edwin Encarnacion’s single, giving the Blue Jays a 5-3 lead, while sending pinch-runner Andy LaRouche, who was pinch-running for Encarnacion, who had just singled, on to third base. The Blue Jays then made it a 7-3 lead as Cabrera hits a two-run double, scoring LaRouche and pinch-runner Jared Goedert, who was pinch-running for Lawrie. The Phils would get a run back in the top of the sixth as, with two men out, John Mayberry, Jr. hits a solo home run,  his first home run of the spring, making it a 7-4 Blue Jays’ lead. The Phils then cut the Blue Jays’ lead down to 7-5 in the top of the eighth as, with the bases loaded, via Maikel Franco reaching first base on third baseman Goedert’s fielding error, a walk to Reid Brignac, moving Franco up to second base, and Kelly Dugan being hit by the pitch, moving both runners up a base, and with one man out, Franco would score on a force attempt throwing error by first baseman LaRoche to second base as he tried to throw out Dugan on Tommy Joseph’s ground ball, while Brignac would move up to third base on the error, as Dugan would be safe at second base and Joseph would stop at first base. That would end up being the final score as Marcus Walden would record his first save of the spring by pitching a 1-2-3 ninth.

Cliff Lee pitched two innings, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out three. Brad Lincoln collected his first hold of the spring as he threw an inning, giving up an unearned run on a hit, while he struck out a batter. Jake Diekman blew his first save of the spring before taking the lost (0-1, 18.00) as he pitched an inning, giving up two runs on four hits. Ethan Martin pitched to four batters, getting none of them out, as he gave up three runs on three hits and a walk. Michael Stutes, Mario Hollands and B.J. Rosenberg would combine for four 1-2-3 innings, striking out two batters (Hollands (1), Rosenberg (1)) between them. R.A. Dickey pitched two innings, giving up an unearned run on two hits, two walks and a passed ball, while striking out two. Esmil Rogers pitched an inning, giving up two runs on a hit and a walk, while striking out a batter. Brett Cecil (1-0, 0.00) got the win as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Dustin McGowan pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Aaron Loup pitched an inning, giving up a run on one hit. Jeremy Jeffress collected his first hold of the spring as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk. Rob Rasmussen collected his first hold of the spring as he threw an inning, giving up an unearned run on a walk and a hit batter. Marcus Walden received his first save of the spring as he threw a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two.

The Phils had six hits in the game, with Ben Revere leading the team with three hits, all singles, followed by John Mayberry, Jr. (Single, Home Run). Darin Ruf had the other Phil hit, a two-run home run. Tommy Joseph had the other Phil RBI on a bases loaded throwing error while their final run came in on a Erik Kratz’s passed ball. The Phils also had five walks in the game (Bobby Abreu (2), Ruf, Maikel Franco, Mayberry), a stolen base (Mayberry (1)) and a hit batter (Dugan), while the defense committed two errors (Franco (2), Wil Nieves).

The Phils (0-2) will play their next game in Clearwater at Bright House Field against a Detroit Tigers (2-0) split-squad at 1:05 pm EST. Kyle Kendrick (10-13, 4.70 (2013)) is scheduled to start for the Phils, while the Tigers plan to send Jose Alvarez (1-5, 5.82 (2013)) to the mound. The Phils will try to gain their first Grapefruit League win before the start of March.

Moves the Phils have made during the past off-season…

Philadelphia_PhilliesAs the Phils’ 2013 season wounded down, with the club wounding up in fourth place in the five-team NL East with a 73-89, .451 record, 23 games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves, the Phils first post-season move was to make interim manager, Hall of Famer Ryan Sandberg, the team’s 52nd manager, by signing him to a three-year contract on September 22, 2013. The Phils’ next move was to announce on September 30 that Rich Dubee was not returning as the team’s pitching coach, ending a nine season relationship with the Phils, as the team started to look for a new pitching coach. On that same day, they announced that they were promoting from the team’s Minor League system, Paul Fournier, as the team’s new strength and conditioning coach, replacing Doug Lien, who had held that position for the previous six seasons, as the club hopes to improve the team’s overall health.

The Phils next move was to make a shake-up in their 40 men roster as they outrighted infielders Michael Martinez and Pete Orr, right-handed pitcher Zach Miner and lefthander Mauricio Robles on October 3, while, on that same day, the Indians picked up right-hander Tyler Cloyd off of the waiver-wire, while the Astros picked up leftie Raul Valdes, opening up six spots on the roster.

Two days later, on October 5, the Phils announced that they would not be renewing the contract of bullpen catcher, Mick Billmeyer, who had been with the club since 2004, first as the catching instructor, then as the bullpen coach in 2009, before becoming the bullpen catcher in 2012. The next Phils move came from out of the blue as, on October 8, former Phils’ player and one time Phils’ manager, and fan favorite, Larry Bowa, rejoined the team as the new bench coach, while another ex-Phil, Pete Mackanin, would join the team as the new third base coach. The Phils also announced that Steve Henderson would remain as the team’s hitting coach while Wally Joyner would leave as the team’s assistant hitting coach, later being hired by the Detroit Tigers as their new hitting coach, while John Mizerock would later become the new assistant hitting coach and Jesus Tiamo would become the new catcher coach, as Juan Samuel would stay on as the team’s first base coach, while Rod Nichols would remain the bullpen coach.

The next move occurred on October 17 as John Lannan decided to become a free agent after he had been outrighted by the club, after refusing assignment.

Then on November 5, the Phils announced that they were hiring Scott Freedman to help the ballclub better understand the use of analytics in the evaluation of players. Seven days later, on November 12, the Phils announced their first free agent signing, as they signed right fielder Marlon Byrd to a two-year contract worth $16 million dollars. Byrd, who is a right-handed batter, and an ex-Phil, has played in the majors from 2002, having played for the Phils (2002-05), the Nats (2005-06), the Rangers (2007-09), the Cubs (2010-12), the Red Sox (2012), the Mets (2013) and the Pirates (2013), appearing in 1250 games, hitting .280 (1222 for 4367), knocking in 533 RBIs as he scored 600 times. Among his 1222 hits were 252 doubles, 32 triples and 106 HRs, while he has also walked 307 times. The Phils plan to use him in the line-up behind Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, the later of whom the team hopes will bounce back from several injuries plagued seasons and regain his form as the team’s RBI and home runs leader. The Phils next announced on November 15 that they have given four players minor league contracts with invites to spring training: right-hander Shawn Camp, left-hander Cesar Jimenez and outfielders Clete Thomas and Leandro Castro.

The Phils then announced on November 18 that they have resigned present catcher Carlos Ruiz to a three-year deal worth $26 million dollars with a team option of $4.5 million or a $500,000 buyout for 2017. The next day, the team announced that they have signed a minor league contract, with a spring training invitation, to infielder Reid Brignac, who would be competing for a utility infielder position with Kevin Frandsen and Freddy Galvis. On November 20, the Phils announced that they were adding four minor league prospects to their 40-man roster to keep them from being picked up by other teams in December’s 5-Rule draft: outfielders Aaron Altheer and Kelly Dugan, catcher Tommy Joseph and left-hander Rob Rasmussen.

The following day, November 22, the Phils signed Bob McClure as their new pitching coach, replacing Dubee. On that same day, they announced that they have signed infielder Andres Blanco to a minor league contract, with an invite to spring training.

On December 4, the Phils made a trade with the Blue Jays, receiving right-handed pitcher Brad Lincoln in exchange for catcher Erik Kratz and minor league pitcher Rasmussen. Lincoln, who has pitched for the Pirates and the Blue Jays (2010-13) has appeared in 97 games, 22 of which was as a starter, for a record of 9-11 with a 4.66 ERA. With one career save in two attempts, he has pitched in 220 games, giving up 228 hits, 123 runs, 114 of which were earned, as he struck out 167 batters while walking only 77. The Phils will likely use him in the bullpen. After the trade, the ballclub would sign catcher Wil Nieves to a one-year deal on December 5, as the team’s back-up catcher. Nieves, who has played for the Padres (2002), the Yankees (2005-2007), the Nats (2008-10), the Brewers (2011), the Diamondbacks (2012), the Rockies (2012-13) and the Diamondbacks again (2013), has appeared in 385 games, hitting .242 (249 for 1029), with 46 doubles, 2 triples and 8 home runs, as he knocked in 103 RBIs while scoring 78 times. He has also walked 59 times. On that same day, the Phils signed right-handed pitcher Jeff Manship to a minor league contract with a spring training invitation.

Then, on December 9, Roy Halladay announced his retirement from baseball, ending a 16-year career with the Blue Jays and the Phils, as he didn’t think he would be able to pitch after his most recent arm injury. Halladay, who said that he had signed a one-day contract with the Blue Jays to end his career as a Jay, and had paid a full page ad in the Philly newspaper thanking the Phils fans for their support during his time as a Phils (2010-13), had appeared in 416 career games, 390 as a starter, with a career record of 203-105, with a 3.38 ERA and a career save, had completed 67 games, 20 for shutouts, as he pitched in 2749.1 total innings, striking out 2117 batters as he walked only 592, as he gave up 2646 hits and 1135 runs, only 1034 of which were earned. He also threw a perfect game and a no-hitter in the post-season, both of which occurred during his first season as a Phil (2010). Thanks for being a member of the Phils, Roy, and being a class act, and wish you luck getting into the Hall.

On December 12, through the Rule 5-draft, the Phils would acquire right-hander Kevin Munson from the Diamondbacks’ Reno club, while they would lose right-hander Seth Rosin to the Mets, who would then trade him to the Dodgers for cash in the major league portion of the draft, and shortstop Jonathan Roof to the Red Sox in the Triple-A part of it, both from their Reading affiliate.

Next, on December 18, the Phils signed a one-year deal with right-hander Roberto Hernandez for $4.5 million dollars, plus performance and award bonuses. Hernandez, who has previous pitched for the Indians (2006-12) and the Blue Jays (2013), has appeared in 216 games, 177 as a starter, with a 59-82 record, with a 4.67 ERA. He will be part of the Phils’ starting rotation, along with Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Kyle Kendrick and Jonathan Pettibone.

In January, the Phils made a new TV-deal with Comcast for 25-year, which included broadcasters Chris Wheeler and Gary Matthews not returning to the broadcast booth. On the 14, the Phils had four players file for salary arbitration: outfielders Ben Revere and John Mayberry, Jr. and pitchers Antonio Bastardo and Kendrick. The next day, January 15, the Phils announce that former manger Charlie Manuel would be returning to the team as a consultant to general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. On the 17, the Phils announced that two of the four arbitration eligible players have signed one-year deals: Mayberry, who had agreed to a 1.587 million dollar deal, while Kendrick had agreed to one worth 7.675 million. The Phils then signed two minor league deals on the 21, one to veteran right-hander Chad Gaudin, and one to former Phil and veteran outfielder Bobby Abreu, with both being given spring training invites. On that same day, the Phils and Bastardo agreed to a one-year contract worth $2 million dollars. Three days later, on the 24, Ben Revere signed a one-year deal with the Phils for $ 1.95 million dollar.

With that, the last bit of news is that the Phils might be replacing Wheeler and Matthews with former Phils Matt Stairs and Jamie Moyer, both of whom have impressed the Phils in their separate interviews to join the broadcast team, and that finally, yesterday, the equipment truck has started heading south for the spring training facilities in Clearwater, Florida from Citizens Bank Park in Philly. It is now six more days before catchers and pitchers are suppose to appear in Clearwater.

Can’t wait for Spring Training to officially start. :-)

Ryan Howard’s two-homer night help rocket the Phils into a 9-6 victory over the Nats, back into first place in the NL East.

Ryan Howard’s two massive home runs, a solo shot and a team record setting grand-slam home run, help leads the Phils to a 9-6 win over the lowly Nationals. The Phils, meanwhile, regain first place from the Mets.

The Nationals took the lead in the second as, with two men on, and one man out, Wil Nieves hits a two run double, knocking in Josh Willingham, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second on Alberto Gonzalez’s single, and Gonzalez, who had just singled, giving the Nats a 2-0 lead. Two batters later, with Nieves still on second, and now with two men out, Anderson Hernandez hits an RBI single, knocking in Nieves, who beat the throw to the plate, giving the Nats a 3-0 lead, while Hernandez would move up to second on the throw. The Phils would get a run back in their half of the second as Ryan Howard hits a lead-off home run, his thirteenth home run of the year, cutting the Nats’ lead to 3-1. In the third, with a runner on second, and one man out, Jimmy Rollins hits an RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier walked, and had moved up to second on Cole Hamels’ sacrifice bunt, making it a 3-2 Nats’ lead. After Rollins stole second base, the Phils loaded the bases on a Shane Victorino walk and a Chase Utley infield single. Ryan Howard then clears them with a 475-ft monster to right for a grand-slam home run, his fourteenth home run of the year, his third grand-salm of the season, and the eighth grand-slam of his career, setting a new franchise record, as he scored Rollins, Victorino and Utley before him, giving the Phils a 6-3 lead. In the fourth, the Nats would get one of the runs back, as, with one man on, and nobody out, Gonzalez hits an RBI triple, knocking in Austin Kearns, who had earlier walked, making it a 6-4 Phils lead. The Phils would get the run back in their half of the inning as, with a runner on second, and one man out, Hamels hits an RBI double, knocking in Ruiz, who had earlier doubled, giving the Phils a 7-4 lead. In the sixth, with a man on, and two men out, pinch hitter Ronnie Belliard hits a pinch hit two-run home run, scoring Kearns, who had earlier singled, had gone to second when Gonzalez was hit by the pitch, and had gone over to third on Nieves’ double play, 5-4-3, wiping out Gonzalez at second, making it 7-6 Phils. The Phils would get those two runs back in their half of the sixth as, with the bases loaded, via a walk to pinch hitter Greg Dobbs, a double by Victorino, which sent Dobbs to third, and a walk to Utley, with two men out, Howard would reach base on a fielding error by second baseman Hernandez, allowing both Dobbs and Victorino to score, and Utley to reach third, as the Phils take a 9-6 lead. That would be the final score as the Phillies’ bullpen shut down the Nats for the final three innings, with Brad Lidge notching his eleventh save of the year as he pitched a scoreless ninth.

Cole Hamels got the victory as he pitched six innings, giving up six runs on eight hits, a walk and a hit batter, while he struck out seven. His record is now 3-2 with a 5.21 ERA. Scott Eyre recorded his ninth hold of the year as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up two hits. Clay Condrey pitched two-thirds of an inning, recording his fourth hold of the season, as he struck out a batter. Ryan Madson recorded his eleventh hold of the year as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two. Brad Lidge recorded his eleventh save of the season as he gave up only a hit, while striking out a batter. Shairon Martis took the lost as he pitched only four innings, giving up seven runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out only one. His record is now 5-1 with a 5.62 ERA. Jason Bergmann pitched a scoreless inning. Mike MacDougal pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on a hit and a walk. Ron Villone, Julian Taverez, Kip Wells and Jesus Colome combined for two and a third scoreless innings, giving up two hits (Tavarez (1), Colome (1)), a walk (Villone) and two hit batters (Tavarez (1), Colome (1)), while striking out four (Tavarez (1), Colome (3)) between them.

The Phillies had ten hits, with Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard leading the way with two hits each, with both of Howard’s hits being home runs. Chase Utley, Jayson Werth, Carlos Ruiz and Cole Hamels had the Phils’ other four hits. Besides Howard’s five RBIs, Hamels and Rollins both knocked in a run. The Phils had six extra-base hits, four doubles and two home runs. The Phils also stole five bases, with Utley, Rollins, Victorino, Ruiz and Werth each stealing a base. The win gives the Phils a series win, as they now go for the series sweep against the Nationals.

The Phillies (27-20, 1st) will conclude their three-games home stand with an afternoon game against the Nationals (13-35, 5th) that will be played at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 1:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Jamie Moyer (3-5, 7.42), who is coming off a lost against the Marlins on May 25, where he went six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Phils’ 5-3 lost. He is still looking for his 250th career win, and for his first victory in over a month. The Nationals will counter with John Lannan (2-4, 4.11), who is coming off a lost on May 25 to the Mets, as he pitched five innings, giving up five runs on eight hits and four walks, in the Nats’ 5-2 lost. He will be trying to keep the Phils from sweeping the Nats. The Phillies will be trying to leave home with a winning home stand before going back onto the road, where they have the best record in baseball.

The Phillies sweep a rain-shortened day-night doubleheader, defeating the Nationals by the scores of 8-5 and 7-5.

The Phillies’ bats and a good start by Brett Myers in the afternoon half of a day-night double bill leads to the sweep of the Nationals in a day-night doubleheader before the rain arrived to stop play. The Phils won 8-5 in the afternoon make-up of an earlier rain out while they won 7-5 in the rain-shortened night cap.

In the first game, the Phils took a quick 1-0 lead in the first, as, with two men out, Raul Ibanez hits a solo home run, his eleventh home run of the year. In the bottom of the first, the Nats would tie the game up at one-all, as, with two men out, Ryan Zimmerman hits his own solo home run, his ninth home run of the year. The Phils retook the lead in the second as Jayson Werth hits a lead-off solo home run, his seventh home run of the year, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. The Phillies increased their lead in the third, as, with two men on, and one man out, Ibanez busted the game open as he hits a three-run home run, his second home run of the game and his twelfth home run of the season, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier singled, and had gone on to second on Shane Victorino’s single, and Victorino, who had just singled, giving the Phillies a 5-1 lead. In the fourth, the Nats got a run back, as, with two men out, Josh Willingham hits a solo home run, his sixth home run, making it a 5-2 Phillies’ lead. In the fifth, the Phils increased their lead to 6-2, when, with two men on, and nobody out, Werth hits an RBI single, scoring Ibanez, who had earlier reached first on Nats’ first baseman Nick Johnson’s fielding error, and had gone to second on Ryan Howard’s single, while sending Howard, who had earlier singled, to second. The Phillies would make it a 7-2 game in the eighth, as, with runners on the corners, and two men out, Rollins hits an RBI single, scoring Chris Coste, who had earlier doubled, while sending Matt Stairs, who had earlier walked, over to third. One batter later, Victorino would give the Phils an 8-2 lead as he hits an RBI single, scoring Stairs, while sending Rollins to second. The Nats would make it an 8-3 Phils’ lead, as, with two men on, and nobody out, Cristian Guzman hits an RBI double, knocking in Anderson Hernandez, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to third on Ronnie Belliard’s single, while sending Belliard, who had earlier singled, over to third. One batter later, the Nats cut the Phils’ lead down to 8-4 as Johnson hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Belliard. Zimmerman made it an 8-5 Phils lead by hitting an RBI single, knocking in Guzman. In the ninth, Brad Lidge came in and nailed down his sixth save of the year.

Brett Myers won the game, pitching his second straight quality start, as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up only two runs on three hits and two walks, while striking out eight. His record is now 3-2 with an ERA of 4.50. Ryan Madson pitched an inning, giving up three runs on four hits. Brad Lidge would record his sixth save of the season as he pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up only one hit, as he struck out a batter. Scott Olsen took the lost as he pitched five innings, giving up six runs, only five of which were earned, on nine hits and two walks, while he struck out only three. His record is now 1-4 with a 7.24 ERA. Garrett Mock pitched three innings in relief, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Jesus Colome pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit, as he struck out one.

The Phillies banged out fourteen hits in the game. Raul Ibanez and Jayson Werth led the way with three hits apiece, including three home runs (Ibanez (2), Werth (1)), with the two between them knocking in six RBIs (Ibanez (4) and Werth (2)). Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Chris Coste all followed with two hits each. Ryan Howard and Pedro Feliz had the Phils other two hits. Rollins and Victorino had the other two RBIs, as the bats came alive in the first game.

In the second game, the Phils sent to the mound rookie Andrew Carpenter, as J.A. Happ, the scheduled starter, was no longer available as he had pitched in relief Friday night. The Nats took the lead in the first, as, with a runner on second and nobody out, Johnson hits an RBI single, knocking in Guzman who had earlier doubled. The Phils tied the game up at one-all in the third, as, with a runner on third, and one man out, Chase Utley hits an RBI double, knocking in Rollins, who had earlier tripled. Two batters later, with Utley still on second, and now two men out, Howard would give the Phils the lead as he hits a two-run home run, his eighth home run of the year, knocking in Utley, giving the Phillies a 3-1 lead. The Nationals got a run back in the fourth, as, with a runner on second, and nobody out, Wil Nieves hits an RBI single, scoring Belliard, who had earlier doubled, cutting the Phils’ lead to 3-2. In the fifth, the Phils would break this game open, as, with two men on, and one out, Ibanez hits a three-run home run, his third home run of the day and his thirteenth home run of the season, knocking in Rollins, who had earlier singled and had gone on to third on Utley’s double, and Utley, who had just doubled, making it a 6-2 Phils’ lead. Five batters later, with the bases loaded, via a Howard double and walks to Stairs and Victorino, and with two men out, the Phils made it a 7-2 lead, as Feliz received an RBI walk, scoring Howard. The Nats tried to get back into the game in their half of the fifth. as the weather started to turn bad. With two men on, and one man out, Willie Harris hits a two-run single, scoring Zimmerman, who had earlier walked and had gone on to third on Willingham’s double, and Willingham, who had earlier doubled, making it a 7-4 Phillies’ lead. That would be it for Carpenter, as he would be replaced with Clay Condrey. Belliard would greet Condrey by hitting an RBI triple, scoring Harris, and making it a 7-5 Phils’ lead. But Condrey would end the inning by striking out both Nieves and pinch hitter Alex Cintron. The Phillies would load the bases in the top of the sixth via walks to Rollins and Utley and a single to Ibanez. With Howard batting, the rain started to come down, hard, and the umpires stopped the game. After waiting over an hour, the game would be call, with the Phils winning 7-5.

Andrew Carpernter received the win, his first major league win, as he pitched four and one-third innings, giving up five runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out four. His record is now 1-0 with a 10.38 ERA. Clay Condrey recorded his first save of the year, as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit, while striking out two. Daniel Cabrera took the lost, as he pitched five innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits and four walks, while striking out three. His record is now 0-5 with a 5.95 ERA. Ron Villone pitched to three batters, giving up a hit and two walks, before the game was called.

The Phillies had nine hits in the second game, with Chase Utley leading the way with three hits, including two doubles. Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez and Ryan Howard got the Phils other six hits, having two hits apiece, with both Howard and Ibanez hitting a home run, while Rollins got a triple. Ibanez knocked in three runs, while Howard brought in two and Utley and Ruiz each brought in a run. The Phillies bat seems to have come alive on their trip to the nation’s capital, as they get ready for a series sweep.

The Phillies (19-16, 2nd) conclude their trip to Washington with an afternoon game with the Nationals (11-24, 5th). The game will be played at Nationals Park and will begin at 1:35 pm. Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Chan Ho Park (1-1, 6.00), who is coming off his second straight quality start, this one against the Dodgers on May 12, as he went six innings, giving up only two runs on seven hits, while striking out three, in the Phils’ 5-3 win. He will be going for his third straight quality start and his second straight win, while giving the Phils the chance to sweep the series. The Nationals will send to the mound, Jordan Zimmermann (2-1, 5.90), who is coming off a no-decision against the Giants on May 12, as he went six innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out eight, in the Nationals’ 9-7 lost. He will be trying to keep the Nats from being swept. The Phillies will be trying to leave Washington with a sweep, after having already recorded a series win at the start of their road trip.

Phillies win an extra-innings thriller in Washington as they defeat the Nationals, 10-6.

Thanks to a bunch of walks from Nats pitching and some timely hitting, the Phils are finally able to defeat the Nationals in extra-innings, 10-6, hours after meeting the President inside the White House and hours before a day-night doubleheader.

The Phils took the lead in the second, as, with runners on the corners, and two men out, Carlos Ruiz hits an RBI single, scoring Raul Ibanez, who had earlier singled and had gone to second on Pedro Feliz’s single, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while sending Feliz, who had earlier singled, on to third. The Nats tied the game up at one-all in the third, as, with a runner on second, and one man out, Ryan Zimmerman hits an RBI single off of Chase Utley’s glove, scoring Nick Johnson, who had earlier walked, and had gone to second on Phils’ starter Joe Blanton’s wild pitch, and beat a surprised Utley throw to the plate, while Zimmerman would move up to second on the throw. Later, with the bases loaded, thanks to walks to Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns, and now with two men out, the Nationals took a 2-1 lead as Anderson Hernandez walked, plating Zimmerman, while moving both Dunn and Kearns up a base, leaving the bases loaded. Wil Neaves then made it a 4-1 Nats lead as he hits a two-run single, scoring both Dunn and Kearnes, while sending Hernandez on to third. The Phils would come back in the sixth, as, with two men on, and two men out, Feliz hits an RBI single, scoring Utley, who had earlier been hit by the pitch, and had gone up to second when Ibanez was also hit by a pitch, making it a 4-2 Nats’ lead, while sending Ibanez, who was also hit by a pitch, to third. Ruiz would make it a 4-3 Nats’ lead, as he hits an RBI single, scoring Ibanez, while sending Feliz up to second. The Phils then took the lead in the seventh, as, with two men on, and one out, Ryan Howard hits a three-run home run, his seventh home run of the year, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier walked, stole second, and then moved to third on Shane Victorino’s single, and Victorino, who had just singled. Then in the ninth, the Phils gave the ball to Brad Lidge to close out the game. Sadly, it did not happen, as, with two on, and two men out, Willie Harris hits a two-run double, scoring Zimmerman, who had earlier singled, and had gone on to second on Dunn’s grounder to third, which lead to a force out of Johnson, who had earlier singled, as Feliz touched third base for the inning’s second out, but beating the throw to first, making it a six-all tie. The two teams would be unable to do anything in either the tenth or the eleventh, but the Phils would retake the lead in the twelfth, as, with the bases loaded, via walks to Utley, Howard and Jayson Werth, and one man out, Ibanez hits a two-run single, knocking in Utley and Howard, while moving Werth up to second base, giving the Phils an 8-6 lead. Then, with Feliz batting, Werth and Ibanez performed a double steal, which lead to Werth scoring, making it a 9-6 Phils’ lead, as Nats’ catcher Nieves committed a throwing error to center field while trying to throw out Ibanez at second. Feliz then made it a 10-6 Phils’ lead, as Feliz hits an RBI double, scoring Ibanez. That would end up being the final score, as J.A. Happ would get the win, in spite of having some trouble in the inning.

Joe Blanton received a no-decision as he was only able to pitch five innings, giving up four runs on five hits, six walks and a wild pitch, while striking out five. Chad Durbin followed with a scoreless inning, hitting one batter, while also striking out one. Scott Eyre then recorded his fifth hold, as he pitched two-thirds of an inning. Ryan Madson followed for an inning and a third, recording his sixth hold, striking out one. Brad Lidge recorded his second blown save of the year, as he gave up two runs on two hits and a walk, while striking out one. Clay Condrey then pitched a scoreless inning. J.A. Happ picked up the win as he pitched two scoreless inning, giving up just one hit, one walk and hitting a batter, while striking out three. His record is now 2-0 with a 2.49 ERA. John Lannan also recorded a no-decision, as he went five and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on six hits, a walk and two hit batters, as he struck out only two. Garrett Mock pitched to only one batter, giving up a hit. Ron Villone recorded his second hold as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up no hits or walks. Jesus Colome pitched to two batters, giving up two runs on one hit and a walk. Joe Beimel blew his second save of the season, giving up a run on three hits and a balk, while striking out one. Julian Tavarez pitched an inning and a third, giving up only one hit and two walks, while striking out a batter. Joel Hanrahan pitched two scoreless innings, giving up only a hit and a walk, while striking out three. Kip Wells took the lost as he pitched an inning, giving up four runs on three hits and four walks, while striking out two. His record is now 0-1 with a 6.06 ERA.

The Phils had sixteen hits in the game, as the offense came awake late. Raul Ibanez and Pedro Feliz lead the team with four hits each, with both me knocking in a pair of runs. Carlos Ruiz followed with three hits, as he also knocked in two runs. Shane Victorino then followed with two hits, breaking out of his slump. Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Chris Coste got the other three Phils’ hits, with Howard’s hit being a three-run home run, while Coste’s was a pinch hit single. The Phils’ bat seems to wake up after Chad Durbin’s hitting of the Nats’ Nick Johnson in the sixth. If so, hopefully the bats will stay awake beyond their series with Washington.

The Phils (17-16, T-2nd) continue there four-games series in Washington with a day-night doubleheader against the Nationals (11-22, 5th). The first game will be played at Nationals Park with a 1:05 pm Eastern start. The Phils’ starter will be Brett Myers (2-2, 4.81), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on May 10, where he went six innings, allowing only one run on five runs and two walks, while striking out three, in the Phils’ 4-2 lost. He will be trying for his third win of the year. The Nats will counter with Scott Olsen (1-3, 7.00), who is coming off a no-decision against the D-backs, on May 10, giving up five runs on ten hits and three walks, while he struck out two, in the Nationals’ 10-8 lost. The Phils will be looking for their second straight win, while improving on their road record.

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 2: Repeat! Repeat! The Phillies defeat the Nationals, 4-3, winning their second straight divisional title.

The Phillies held on to defeat the Nationals, 4-3, to win their second straight Eastern Division Championship. The Phillies would take the lead in the fourth, as, with runners on the corners and no one out, Pat Burrell would hit a foul ball sacrifice fly, scoring Chase Utley, who has earlier singled and would go to third on Ryan Howard’s single, giving the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead. Three batters later, with the bases loaded and still one out, Carlos Ruiz would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Howard, who would go to second on Shane Victorino’s single, and would then move up to third on Pedro Feliz’s walk, while Victorino would move up to second on the walk, giving the Phillies a 2-0 lead. The Nationals would cut the Phillies’ lead down to 2-1 in the fifth, as, with a runner on second and two outs, Anderson Hernandez would hit a RBI double, scoring Roger Bernadina, who has earlier singled and would move on to second on Nationals’ starter John Lannan’s sacrifice bunt, 1-4. The Phillies would get that run back in their half of the fifth as Jayson Werth would hit a lead-off solo home run, his twenty-fourth home run of the year, giving the Phillies a 3-1 lead. In the sixth, the Nats would threaten to score as they would get their first two hitters, Ryan Zimmerman and Lastings Milledge, on base with singles, with Milledge’s being a bunt single that succeeded because Moyer has broken originally towards third base at the end of his delivery, before he was unable to grab the ball, putting Nats runners on first and second. But Moyer would then get out of the inning by getting first Elijah Dukes and then Aaron Boone to fly out to center and then getting Wil Nieves to strike out swinging. In the eighth inning, the Nats would make it close as, with runners on second and third, and no one out, Milledge would hit a sacrifice fly on a great play made by Jimmy Rollins for the inning’s first out, as Cristian Guzman, who has earlier singled and would go to third on Zimmerman’s double, would score during the collision between Rollins and a sliding Victorino, in which they would hit their right shins together, making it 3-2 Phils. As Rollins walk back to his position, walking it off, Victorino would lie on his back for a while, before he finally got back up and then walked it off as well, before the game resumed. Ryan Madson, who was pitching in relief of Chad Durbin, who, in turn, had pitched the seventh in relief of Phillies’ starter Jamie Moyer, would end the inning by first getting Dukes to ground out, 6-4, and then getting Boone to strike out swinging. The Phillies would get that run back as, with a runner on first and two outs, Feliz would hit a RBI double, scoring Victorino, who has earlier singled and would run all the way home, making it 4-2 Phillies. The ball is then given to Brad Lidge to close it out. After striking out Emilio Bonifacio, he would give up a single to Bernadina. Pinch hitter Ryan Langerhans would than get on base with a walk, moving Bernadina up to second. Hernandez would follow with a RBI single, scoring Bernadina and sending Langerhans to second, making it 4-3 Phillies. Guzman would then single, moving Langerhans and Hernandez both up a base, as the bases are now loaded. The next batter, Zimmerman, would then hit a ground ball that tried to go into right center field for a hit. Rollins would stop the ball, and then threw it perfectly to Utley for the inning’s second out, wiping out Hernandez. Utley then threw a high throw that was brought down by Howard, beating out a slow running Zimmerman for the game’s final out on a double play and would lead to the start of the Phillies’ celebration of their second straight National League Eastern Division Championship, won at home for only the second time in the Phillies’ history.

Jamie Moyer would get the win, in the process tying Nolan Ryan’s record for the most games won by a 45 years old pitcher, as he went six innings, giving up only one earned run on six hits. His record is now 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA. Chad Durbin would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning, giving up one earned run on two hits. Brad Lidge would pitch an inning, as he gave up an earned run on three hits as he recorded his forty-first save in forty-one attempts. John Lannan would get the lost, as he pitched five innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits. His record is now 9-15 with a 3.91 ERA. Steven Shell would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Mike Hinckley would pitch an inning and a third, giving up no runs on no hits. Garrett Mock would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits.

 With the victory, the Phillies have captured their seventh National League Eastern Division pennant in the team’s 126 years history, and their first two consecutive divisional crowns since they have won three Eastern Division pennants back in 1976-1978. This is the first time that they have entered the postseason for two straight seasons since the 1980-1981 seasons. Jamie Moyer, for the second straight season, has pitched the Phillies into the playoffs with his strong six innings outing. Every regular, except for Carlos Ruiz, would get at least one hit, while Shane Victorino would go 3 for 4, all singles, and scoring what would turn out to be the game winning run.

The 2008 Eastern Divisional Champion Phillies (91-70) will be playing their last regular season game tomorrow afternon, Fan Appreciation Day, against the Nationals (59-101). The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 1:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter, thank to the clinching, will be J.A. Happ (1-0, 3.90), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on September 21, as he went six and two-thirds innings, giving up only two earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 6-2 win, instead of their ace Cole Hamels, who will now be given the day off. He has faced the Nationals once before, pitching an inning in relief against them on September 1, as he gave up no runs on one hit, in the Phillies’ 7-4 lost. In four starts, he is 1-0 with three no-decisions, all of which would be won by the Phillies, with an ERA of 2.28. He will be trying for his second major league win tomorrow afternoon. His opponent will be Odalis Perez (7-11, 4.27), who is coming off a lost to the Padres on September 21, as he went six innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, in the Nationals’ 6-2 lost. In his last appearance against the Phillies on September 3, he pitched a no-decision, going five innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, in the Nationals’ 9-7 win. He will be trying to improve his record and end the Nationals’ season on a high note.

The Phillies are still ahead of the Mets by two games, as they defeated the Marlins. In the Wild Card race, the Mets and the Brewers are once again tied for the wild card lead as the Brewers lost to the Cubs. The Wild Card race will now go down to the wire between the Mets and the Brewers with the magic number for both being at 2. The Phillies will more than likely be resting most of their regulars tomorrow, while waiting to see who their opponent will be in the National League Divisional Series.

The Phillies are once again done in in the eighth inning as the Phils lose to the Nats, 9-7.

The Phillies’ bullpen would give up four runs in the bottom of the eighth which would help to do the Phillies in, 9-7, as the team now fall three games behind the first place Mets before their important weekend series with them. The Phillies would take the lead in the first, as, with a man on and two outs, Ryan Howard would hit a two-run home run, his thirty-eighth home run of the year, scoring Chase Utley, who has earlier been hit by the pitch, to give the Phils a quick 2-0 lead. The Nats would come back in their half of the first, as, with a man on and one man out, Ryan Zimmerman would hit a RBI double, knocking in Cristian Guzman, who has singled earlier, to cut the Phillies lead to 2-1. The Nats would then tie the score at two all, as, with two men on and two out, Kory Castro would hit a RBI single, scoring Zimmerman and sending Elijah Dukes, who has earlier walked, to third. Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton would finally end the inning by getting Wil Nieves to ground out, second to first. The Phillies would retake the lead in the third, as Utley would hit a RBI triple, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier singled, to give the Phils a 3-2 lead. The Nationals would then tie the score in the fifth, as, with the bases loaded via a walk (Emilio Bonifacio), a single (Guzman) and a second walk (Zimmerman), and with Ryan Madson now on the mound in place of Blanton, the next batter, Lastings Milledge, would hit a ground ball to Howard. Instead of going home to force out Bonifacio, Howard would instead throw to second, which would force out Zimmerman for the inning’s first out, as Bonifacio would score the tying run, while Guzman would move over to thiird as Bonifacio would be safe at first, leaving runners on the corners for the Nationals. Dukes would then come up and hit a grounder to third baseman Pedro Feliz. Instead of throwing home to cut down Zimmerman, Feliz would instead throw over to second to try and start a double play. Instead, Feliz would only force out Bonifacio for the inning’s second out as Bonifacio would take out Utley with a good slide, allowing Zimmerman to score, giving the Nats a 4-3 lead, while Dukes would be safe at first. Madson would finally end the inning by striking out Castro. The Phillies would retake the lead in the sixth as Howard would hit his second two-run home run of the night, his thirty-ninth home run of the year, knocking in Jayson Werth, who has earlier singled, to make it 5-4 Phillies. The Nationals would then tie it five all in the seventh, as, with two outs, Zimmerman would hit a solo home run, his eleventh home run of the year. Then would come the nightmarish eighth inning. With Chad Durbin still pitching for the Phils, Castro would start off the inning with a single. After Castro is replaced by pinch runner Pete Orr, Nieves would mess up a sacrifice bunt attempt by poping up to Howard for the inning’s first out. Then everything would unravel for the Phils. Durbin would unfurl a wild pitch that would send Orr over to second base. Roger Bernadina would then get a single, sending Orr to third, putting runners on the corners. Ronnie Beliard would follow with a RBI single, knocking in Orr, to give the Nationals a 6-5 lead, while sending Bernadina to second. Durbin would then be replaced by J.C. Romero. Bernadina would proceed to steal third before Romero would walk Bonifacio to load the bases. Guzman would then hit a three-run double, scoring Bernadina, Beliard and Bonifacio, to give the Nationals a 9-5 lead. Clay Condrey would then come in to replace Romero, soon ending the inning without any more damage. The Phillies would then strike back in the ninth, as with one man on and no one out, Matt Stairs would hit a RBI double to score Shane Victorino, who has only earlier singled, to make it 9-6 Nationals. Rollins would then move Stairs over to third as he grounds out, second to first, for the inning’s first out. Utley would then hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Stairs, to make it 9-7 Nats. And that would be the final score as Werth would end the game by striking out swinging.

Joe Blanton would receive a no-decision as he pitches only four innings plus three batters, giving up four earned runs on six hits. Ryan Madson would pitch two scoreless innings, giving up no hits. Scott Eyre would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs and no hits. Chad Durbin would receive his sixth blown save of the year, as well as the lost as he goes two-thirds of an inning, giving up four earned runs on five hits. His record is now 5-4 with a 2.69 ERA. J.C. Romero would face only two batters, getting out neither of them as he gives up a hit and walks one. Clay Condrey would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Odalis Perez would also get a no-decision as he pitches five innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits. Marco Estrada would have his first blown save of the year as he faces three batters, giving up two earned runs on three hits. Jesus Colome would pitch a scoreless, hitless inning. Mike Hinckley would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up one hit. Steven Shell would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no hits or runs. Saul Rivera would get the win as he pitch a scoreless inning, giving up jut one hit. His record is now 5-5 with a 3.52 ERA. Joel Hanrahan would pitch an inning, giving up two runs on two hits.

The lost put the Phillies in a bind as they now head to New York, needing to either sweep or win the series if they don’t want to fall any further behind the Mets. It would seems that Charlie Manuel’s strategic thinking in this game would backfire on him in the seventh as he would take out Scott Eyre, after he has gotten out the two batters that he would face, to have Chad Durbin handle the right handers in the Nationals’ line-up. The move would blow up in his face instead as Durbin would give up a solo home run to Ryan Zimmerman to tie the score The less said about the eighth inning nightmare that he started the better, as the Phillies would lose another recent game in that inning. Something needs to be done about this, and quickly, before that inning becomes a real major problem for the Phillies’ bullpen’s egos during the last twenty-two games of the season.

The lost puts the Phillies’ three games behind the Mets as the Mets would sweep the Brew Crew in Milwaukee, while they are now five games ahead of the now fading Marlins as they lost to the Braves. The Phillies, who have tomorrow off, now heads into New York with a series that will either see them get closer to the Mets or see them fall further behind them.

The bullpen is unable to hold the lead as the Phillies lose to the Nationals, 4-3.

Ryan Madison blows a save opportunity in the eight inning as he runs into some buzzard luck as the Phillies are denied a sweep of the Nationals, losing 4-3. The first five innings of the game would involve a pitchers’ duel between veteran Jamie Moyer and the Nationals’ starter Tim Redding. Moyer would only give up a single and two walks in the first five innings, while Redding would give up just a single and a walk, while at one point getting out twelve Phils in a row. The Nationals would finally break the scoreless tie in the sixth, when, with two men on, and one out, Lastings Milledge would hit a grounder to third. Pedro Feliz, who was reactived last night, would throw to second base, forcing out Cristian Guzman, who has gotten on base with a single, for the innings’ second out, but Guzman’s take out slide would cause Chase Utley to throw widely of first for a throwing error, an error that Ryan Howard could have prevented by getting off the bag to block the ball, which would allow Anderson Hernandez, who has earlier singled and has moved to second on Guzman’s single, to score, giving the Nats a 1-0 lead, as Milledge would be safe on the error, moving up to second on the errant throw. Moyer would end the inning by getting Ronnie Belliard to ground out, short to first. The Phillies would tie it in their half of the inning, when, with a runner on second and two out Chase Utley would single in Jayson Werth, who has earlier doubled. The Nats would retake the lead in the seventh, when, with runners on second and third, and two outs, Moyer would give up a RBI single to Hernandez off of Jimmy Rollins’ glove, scoring Austin Kearns, who has earlier walked and has gone to third on Willie Harris’ single, to give the Nats a 2-1 lead. That would be it for Moyer, as he would be taken out for Chad Durbin, while being given a standing ovation by the fans for his effort. Durbin would quickly end the inning by geting Guzman to ground out to first base. The Phillies would then strike back in their half of the inning, as, with one out, Shane Victorino would get an infield single and then go to third on Ryan Zimmerman’s two-base throwing error. Victorino would then score on pitch hitter Greg Dobbs’ ground out on the drawn in infied, second to first, to tie the score at two. The Phillies would then take the lead on Carlos Ruiz’s solo home run, his third home run of the year, to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead. The lead would then vanish in the eighth inning, as Ryan Madson would run into some buzzard luck while on the mound. It would start when Zimmerman hit a ground ball to third, which would hit the third base bag and then bounce high into the air, before it finally came down to be caught by Feliz, who by then would have no play at first as Zimmerman would get an infield single. The next batter, Milledge, would then pop a fly ball into right field that would fall in for a hit, putting runners on first and second with no body out. After Belliard bunts the runners over to second and third for the inning’s first out, Jesus Flores would get an infield single off of Utley’s glove, tying the game at three all, and putting runners on the corners. Kearns would then hit a hard ball up the middle for a single, scoring Milledge, giving the Nationals a 4-3 lead, and moving Flores to second. Madson is then replaced with J.C. Romero. Romero would proceed to end the inning by striking out Harris and pinch hitter Wil Nieves. The Phillies would threaten to tie the game in both the eighth and the ninth, but would be unable to get a key hit as Nats’ closer Joel Hanrahan would come in to pitch two innings of shut out ball, recording his fourth save of the year and ending the Nats’ twelve games losing streak.

Jamie Moyer would get a no-decision as he pitched six and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits. Chad Durbin would pitch a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. Ryan Madson would get the lost as he blew his second save, going a third of an inning, giving up two earned runs on four hits, only one of which was actually a clean hit ball. His record is now 3-2 with an ERA of 3.38. J.C. Romero would go two-thirds of an inning, striking out both man that he would face. Clay Condrey pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk. Tim Redding would also get a no-decision, as he pitched six innings, giving up only one earned run on three hits. Saul Rivera would get the win while also receiving his fifth blown save of the year, as he pitches an inning, giving up two earned runs on three hits. Joel Hanrahan would record his fourth save as he pitched two innings of shut out ball, giving up two hits and a walk while striking out one as he kept the Phillies from being able to tie the game.

The Phillies’ bullpen would be as much of a culprit in last night’s lost as was the Phillies’ offense, which did not do anything until the bottom of the sixth inning, and would once again be unable to get the key hit in the eighth and ninth innings. But in Madson’s defense, he got hit by what I tend to call buzzard luck. What I mean by that is that things happen that at any other time would not happen, and seems to happen to the Phillies once too many times. The ground ball that would hit the third base bag and go up into the air for an infield hit, the pop up that would drop in between Chase Utley and Jayson Werth before either of them could reach the ball and the infield single off of Utley’s glove that would allow the tying run to score in the eighth, along with the single off of Rollins’ glove in the previous seventh inning, are all examples of buzzard luck. It drives me nuts when that happens, since I know that I have no one to blame for those situations other than dame luck, and even then, you can’t blame her when the situation is just plain goofy. So, while Madson blew the save and got the loss, it was mainly because he got hit with buzzard luck.

The Phillies (68-59) will start a four games series tonight with the Dodgers (65-62, 2nd National League West). The first game of the series will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (10-7, 5.01), who is coming off his second straight bad start against the Padres on August 16, where he is only able to go three and two-thirds innings, giving up six earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 8-3 lost. His only start against the Dodgers this year, on August 11, would be an equally rough start, as he would go only three and a third innings, giving up seven earned runs on nine hits, in the Phillies’ 8-6 lost. He will be looking to rebound from those two loses, trying to regain his agressiveness and trying to get his eleventh win of the season. His opponent, returning like a horror film nightmare, is Phillies’ killer Greg Maddux (6-9, 3.99), who has just been acquired by the Dodgers to take the place of injured starter Brad Penny. His last start was against the Phillies for the Padres on August 15, where he would pitch seven innings, giving up only an earned run on five hits, in the Padres’ 1-0 lost. This would be his first start as a Dodgers, but he would have faced the Phillies in two starts for the Padres, going 0-2 as he would pitch thirteen and a third innings, giving up five earned runs on thirteen hits. He will be trying for his first win this year against the Philles while trying to make it five straight wins against the Phillies for the Dodgers.

The Phillies are now trailing the Mets by two and a half games, thanks to last night’s lost, while the Mets prepare for a four games series with the Astros in New York. The Phillies are ahead of the Marlins by three and a half games, as the fish prepare for a three games series with the D-backs in Phoenix. The Phillies hope to regain some ground in the East while trying to get even with the Dodgers for last week’s sweep.

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