Results tagged ‘ Wild Card ’

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 11: Sending rookie J.A. Happ to the mound to help keep the Phillies in first place in the Eastern Division.

The first place Phillies (84-67) will play the second of three games against the fourth place Braves (67-84) tonight. The game will be played at Turner Field and will start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies starter will be rookie J.A. Happ (0-0, 5.71), who will be making his third start for the Phillies, still looking for his first major league win. His last appearance was in relief against the Marlins on September 9, when he would pitch three and a third innings in relief of Kyle Kendrick, giving up three earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 10-8 lost. His last start was a no-decision on July 9 against the Cardinals, where he went six and a third innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 4-2 win. The Phillies have won both of his starts, although he would receive no-decisions in both games. He will be trying for his first win while trying to keep the Phils in first place as he face the Braves for the first time in his short major league career, hoping that this will be to his advantage. The Braves’ starter will be Jair Jurrjens (13-9, 3.62), who is coming off a win against the Rockies on September 11, where he went six innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits, in the Braves’ 8-4 win. He has faced the Phillies two previous times this year, winning his last meeting against them on July 25, as he went eight innings, giving up no runs on just three hits, in the Braves’ 8-2 win. His record this year against the Phillies is 1-1. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to put an end to the Phillies’ seven games winning streak at Turner Field.

The Phillies will be sending out J.A. Happ, in place of the slumping Kyle Kendrick, who has lately been pitching rather ineffectively. In his last ten starts, he has gone 3-6 with a no-decision, sporting a 7.63 ERA, as he pitched a combined total of only forty-six innings, giving up thirty-nine earned runs on sixty-eight hits, walking twenty-five batters while striking out only twenty. Kendrick’s major problem appears to be that he is not going after hitters, like he once did, making them hit ground balls towards his fielders for outs, and concentrating on only two pitches. Frankly, that is a receipe for trouble and the opposition has caught up with him because of it. Kendrick, if the Phillies want him to help them out next year, will need to put him to work during the winter months to work on regaining his confidence, going after hitters and developing another pitch to go along with the ones that he have now, while also making himself less reliant on the two pitches that the batters are now waiting on. Meanwhile, the red hot offense needs to remain hot, hopefully scoring several runs off of Jurrjens, like they did during his first start against them, so that Happ won’t have to worry too much while he is on the mound. Speaking about the offense, Pat Burrell continues to struggles at the plate, as he went 0 for five last night, all five of them being strike outs. The best thing that Charlie Manuel may need to do for Burrell is to rest him for a day or two and allow him to find out for himself why he is suddenly unable to hit the pitches that he was hitting without any problems before last month. But, with Burrell presently cold, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Jayson Werth and Shane Victorino are all smoking hot, with Howard especially being a danger to National League pitching, which should be more than able to compensate for Burrell’s coldness.

The Phillies now lead the East by a half game ahead of the Mets as they prepare to play against the Nationals. They are five and a half games ahead of the Marlins as they continue their series with the Astros. In the Wild Card race, the Mets are now a half game in front of the freefalling Brewers who continue their series with the soon to be National League Central Division Champion Cubs, whose magic number is now four. With eleven games left in the season, the Phillies are planning to extend not only their present winning streak to six games, but also their winning streak at Turner Field, their present home away from home, to eight games, while also hoping to extend their lead over the Mets in the East, with a little help from the Nationals.

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 12: Ryan Howard’s home run is the different in a wild game in Atlanta as the Phillies defeat the Braves, 8-7. Phils once again lead in the Eastern Division.

In a wild game in Atlanta, a Ryan Howard home run would be the difference as the Phillies would hang on to defeat the Braves, 8-7. A Mets lost to the Nationals would put the Phils back into first place in the National League East by a half game. The Phillies would take the lead in the third as, with one man out and with a runner on second, Chase Utley would hit a RBI double, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has gotten on base earlier with a double, to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. This would be the first run to be scored off of Braves’ starter rookie James Parr in three starts. The Phillies would make it a 3-0 lead as Jayson Werth would follow with a two-run home run, his career high twenty-third home run of the year, scoring Utley. Ryan Howard would then follow with a single. After Pat Burrell strikes out for the inning’s second out, Shane Victorino would follow with a double. Unfortunaltely, Howard would be thrown out at the plate trying to score on a good throw from Braves’ right fielder Jeff Francoeur to second baseman Martin Prado to catcher Brian McCann, who would supply the tag on Howard for the final out of the inning. The Braves would come back in their half of the third as Phillies’ starter Jamie Moyer would have the first of his two bad innings of the night. After striking out Parr for the inning’s first out, Moyer would hit Josh Anderson, sending him to first. Anderson would then move up to second on a Moyer’s wild pitch. Moyer would then walk Prado, putting men on first and second with one out. Chipper Jones would then follow with a single, loading up the bases. McCann would then hit a RBI single, scoring Anderson, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 3-1, while leaving the bases loaded as Prado and Jones would each move up only one base. Moyer would then strike out Omar Infante for the inning’s second out. Casey Kotchman would then follow with a two-run single, scoring both Prado and Jones, tying up the game at three all, while moving McCann up to third. Moyer would finally get out of the inning by getting Francoeur to fly out. The Phillies would retake the lead in the fourth as, with one out, Carlos Ruiz would hit a solo home run, his fourth home run of the year, making it 4-3 Phillies. The Phils would then threaten to score again in the fifth as Werth and Howard would both single with one out, putting runners on first and second. Bobby Cox would then come out to remove Parr and replace him with Buddy Carlyle. Carlyle would proceed to strike out Burrell for the inning’s second out, then get Victorino to ground out 3-1 to end the threat. In the sixth, Moyer would have the second of his bad innings. After getting Kotchman to ground out, 4 to 3, for the inning’s first out, Moyer would give up a single to Francoeur. Moyer would then walk both Brent Lillibridge and pinch hitter Greg Norton to load the bases. Anderson would then hit a sharp ball towards first that would be caught by Howard who would then beat Anderson to the bag for the inning’s second out, as Francoeur scored, tying the game at four runs apiece, while moving both Lillibridge and Norton up a base. Charlie Manuel would then come out of the dugout and take out Moyer, replacing him with Chad Durbin to try and put out the fire. Sadly, Durbin would be unable to do so, as he would give up a single to pinch hitter Kelly Johnson, knocking in both Lillibridge and Norton, giving the Braves a 6-4 lead, while Johnson would go to second on Victorino’s throw to the plate that would bounce off the mound, allowing Johnson to move up a base. That would come back to haunt the Phillies later in the inning, as, after Durbin intentionally walks Jones, Manuel would come back out to replace him with Scott Eyre to face McCann. That move wouldn’t work as McCann would hit a RBI single, scoring Johnson, making it now 7-4 Braves, while sending Jones to second. Eyre would finally end the inning by getting Infante to hit into a force out, 6-4. The Phillies would strike back in the seventh, as, with a runner on first and one man out, Howard would hit a deep fly ball to left that would be misplayed by Infante, thus becoming a RBI triple, while scoring Werth, who has earlier singled, cutting the Braves’ lead to 7-5. Cox would then come out and replace Jeff Bennett with Will Ohman. After striking out Burrell for the inning’s second out, Ohman would give up a RBI single to Victorino, scoring Howard and making it a 7-6 Braves’ lead. Pedro Feliz would then reach base on a throwing error by shortstop Lillibridge, as he threw the base past Prado on a force out attempt, allowing Victorino to reach second. But after Ohman walks pinch hitter Greg Dobbs to load the bases, he would finally end the inning by getting pinch hitter Matt Stairs to ground out, 3 to 1. The Phillies would then retake the lead for good in the eighth, as with a runner on first with two outs, Howard would hit his major league leading forty-fifth home run of the year, scoring Werth, who has earlier walked, to give the Phillies an 8-7 lead. In the ninth, the Phillies would hand the ball over to Brad Lidge for the save. But, it would not be easy. Lidge would start off the inning by walking Jones. Lidge would then get McCann to pop out to Utley under the Infield Fly Rule, although Utley would pretend to miss the ball, to try for a force out, but the umpire wouldn’t go for it. The next batter, Infante, would then hit a sharp ground ball to Feliz. Although hit hard enough for a double play ball, Feliz would only have one play, to first, throwing out Infante, as Jones was running on the play, reaching second safely. Lidge would then proceed to walk both Kotchman and Francoeur to load the bases, with two men out, for Gregor Blanco. Lidge would then strike out Blanco swinging on a 2-2 slider, ending the game as he finally records his thirty-seventh save in thirty-seven tries.

Jamie Moyer would get a no-decision, as he would goes five and two-thirds innings, giving up six earned runs on six hits while walking four and striking out six, as he would have two very bad innings that would hurt him. Chad Durbin would pitch to two batters, getting neither of them out, as he gives up an earned run on a hit and walks a batter. Scott Eyre would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Ryan Madson would get the win as he pitches two scoreless innings, giving up no hits while striking out three. His record is now 4-2 with a 3.16 ERA. Brad Lidge would pitch a scoreless inning, although he would give up three walks while striking out one as he records his thirty-seventh save of the year. James Parr would also get a no-decision, as he is able to last only four and a third innings, giving up four earned runs on ten hits. Buddy Carlyle would pitch an inning and two-thirds of scoreless relief, giving up no hits while striking out two. Will Ohman would pitch a third of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Jeff Bennett would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on a hit. Julian Tavarez would pitch two thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on no hits and a walk. Mike Gonzalez would get the lost as he receives his second blown save of the year as he pitches a third of an inning, giving up an earned run, Ryan Howard’s home run, on one hit. His record is now 0-3 with a 4.25 ERA. Jorge Julio would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits while walking a batter as he struck out the side. 

Two bad innings almost did in Jamie Moyer and the Phillies as Moyer would lose control of his stuff in both the third and the sixth innings, giving up three runs in both, as he gave up in those two innings four singles and four walks, along with a hit batsman. But this time the offense would refuse to die, thanks to Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins. The game’s star, a red hot Howard, would be a double short of hitting the cycle, as he went four for five, getting two singles, a triple and a home run, knocking in three runs while scoring two. Victorino would follow by going three for five with two singles and a double, knocking in a run. Jayson Werth would be next as he went three for four, getting two singles and a home run, knocking in two runs while scoring three. Jimmy Rollins would go two for five with a single and a double, scoring a run. Carlos Ruiz and Chase Utley would also contribute with a home run (Ruiz) and a RBI double (Utley). The only ones who would not contribute would be Pedro Feliz, who would get on base with a walk, and Shane Victorino would go 0 for five, striking out all five times. In a fourteen hit attack, half of the hits would be for extra-bases (2B (3), 3B (1), HR (3)), showing that the Phillies’ offense, in general, is hot at the moment, a situation that will hopefully last to the end of the year.

The once again first place Phillies (84-67) will play the second of their three games against the fourth place Braves (67-84) tonight. The game will be played at Turner Field and will start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound, in place of the presently ineffective Kyle Kendrick, rookie J.A. Happ (0-0, 5.71), who will be making his third start for the Phillies, still looking for his first major league win. His last appearance was in relief against the Marlins on September 9, as he would pitch three and a third innings in relief of Kendrick, giving up three earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 10-8 lost. His last start was a no-decision on July 9 against the Cardinals, where he went six and a third innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 4-2 win. The Phillies have won both of his starts, although he would receive no-decisions in both games. He will be trying for his first win while trying to keep the Phils in first place as he face the Braves for the first time in his short major league career. The Braves will counter with Jair Jurrjens (13-9, 3.62), who is coming off a win against the Rockies on September 11, where he went six innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits, in the Braves’ 8-4 win. He has faced the Phillies two previous times, winning his last meeting against them on July 25, as he went eight innings, giving up no runs on just three hits, in the Braves’ 8-2 win. His record this year against the Phillies is 1-1. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to put an end to the Phillies’ seven games winning streak at Turner Field.

With the win, the Phillies jump back into first place, a half game ahead of the Mets who lost last night, 1-0, to the Nationals. They are still five and a half games over the Marlins, who defeated the Astros. The Phillies’ win and the Mets lost would put the Mets back into the Wild Card race, where they now have a half game lead over the Brewers, after their lost to the Cubs, who are out to clinch the National League Central Division this week. With eleven games left in the season, the Phillies are out to extend their present winning streak to six games and their winning streak at Turner Field to eight games, while hoping to extend their lead over the Mets in the East.

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 12: Going to Atlanta, looking at both the East and the Wild Card.

The Phillies (83-67) go to Atlanta for the start of their last road trip to the South as they face the fourth place Braves (67-83), who are now in a role they have not been in since the late ’80s, that of spolier. The Phillies, thank to the Nationals’ defeat of the Mets last night, are now just a half game out of first in the East as well as tied for the Wild Card lead with the Brewers, who yesterday have fired their manager Ned Yost and have replaced him with third base coach Dale Sveum. The three games series will be played at Turner Field and the first game of the series will start there tonight at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies will start this important series with their ageless veteran Jamie Moyer (14-7, 3.68) on the mound, who is coming off a win against Milwaukee on September 11, where he would pitch five and two-thirds innings, giving up only three earned runs on four scattered hits, in the Phillies’ 6-3 win. Moyer has won four of his last six starts, with the Phils going 1-1 in his two no-decisions. He has given up three runs or less in seventeen of his last eighteen starts. He will be going for his team leading fifteenth victory while trying to put the Phillies on the winning track for the last leg of the pennant race. The Braves will counter with the rookie James Parr (1-0, 0.00), who is coming off a no-decision in his second career start against the Rockies on September 10, going six innings, giving up no earned runs on five hits, in the Braves’ 9-5 win. He will be trying for his second career win in three starts and hoping that the Phillies’ bat will be unable to score on him, since this will be the first time that he will face them.

The Phillies’ offense seems to have come alive this past weekend, with Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard seeming to have returned to their September 2007 forms to lead the offensive attack. Pat Burrell also appears to finally be breaking out of his slump. If the offense can stay hot during the next twelve games and the starters can continue to pitch the way they have pitched for the last several weeks, the Phillies should have no problem grabbing either the Eastern Division or the Wild Card at the end of the month. Everything just now depends on the Phillies taking care of business.

The Phillies are now trailing the Mets by a half game in the East as they continue their four games series with the Nationals. The Phillies are now ahead of the Marlins by five and a half games as the fish prepare for their three games series with the Astros. In the Wild Card chase, the Phillies are tied with the slumping Brewers for the lead in the wild card as the Brewers prepare for an important three games series with the Central Division leading Cubs. Both the Phillies and the Brewers are now two and a half games ahead of the Astros as they prepare to visit the Marlins, and are now four and a half games ahead of the Cardinals, who are preparing to play a three games series with the Reds. The Phillies are right now in the driver seat, determing whether they will be the winner in the Eastern Division or the winner of the Wild Card. Either way, Go PHILLIES!!!!

The Phillies, behind Brett Myers, have finished their impossible sweep of the Brewers. They are now tied for first place in the wild card race and are a game behind the Mets in the East.

Behind the two-hit pitching of Brett Myers, the Phillies have completed the destruction of the slumping Brewers, getting a share of the lead in the NL Wild Card race while putting themselves a game behind the Mets in the East. The Phillies took a quick 1-0 lead in the first when, with runners on first and third, and no one out, Chase Utley would hit into a 4-6-3 double play, wiping out Jayson Werth at second, who has earlier singled, while scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier doubled and would go to third on Werth’s single. The Phillies would break the game open in the second as, with runners on the corners and two men out, Phillies’ starter Brett Myers would get a RBI single, knocking in Pat Burrell, who has earlier walked, went to second on Shane Victorino’s single and then moved to third on Pedro Feliz’s 6-4-3 double play, wiping out Victorino at second, to increase the Phillies’ lead to 2-0, while sending Chris Coste, who has been intentionally walked to get to Myers, to second. After a wild pitch by Brewers’ starter Jeff Suppan would place Coste and Myers on third and second respectively, Rollins would follow with a two-run single, scoring both Coste and Myers, who would just beat Jason Kendall’s tag at home plate, to give the Phillies a 4-0 lead. The Phillies would add to their lead in the fourth as Burrell lead-off the inning with a solo home run, his thirty-first home run of the year, making it 5-0 Phillies. Six batters later, with the bases loaded via a double (Victorino), a hit batsman (Coste) and an intentional walk (Rollins, after Myers would sacrifice both Victorino and Coste over to third and second respectively), and with two men out, Werth would bring in the Phils’ final run with a walk, forcing in Victorino, giving the Phils a 6-0 lead. That would be it for Suppan as Brewers’ manager Ned Yost would take him out for Tim Dillard, who would end the inning by getting Utley to pop out. Meantime, Myers would breeze along, getting the Brewers out almost with ease, while keeping his pitch count low, allowing only two men on base, via a walk (Craig Counsell, who would later be wiped out on a 6-4-3 double play by Kendall) in the third, and a single (Ray Durham) in the fourth. He would only make one mistake as he would give up a solo home run to Prince Fielder in the seventh on a 3-2 slider, Fielder’s thirtieth home run of the year, with two men out, which would make it a 6-1 Phillies’ lead. But that would be the best that the Brewers would be able to do against Myers as he would get out the next seven batters with ease, pitching a complete game.

Myers would pick up the win as he pitches a complete game, giving up just one earned run on two hits and a walk, while striking out four. His record is now 10-11 with his ERA dropping to 4.05. Jeff Suppan would receive the lost, giving up all six runs, all earned, on eight hits and four walks as he is only able to last three and two-thirds innings. Suppan’s record is now 10-9 with a 4.85 ERA. Tim Dillard, Seth McClung and Todd Coffey would all combine to pitch four and a third innings of shut out ball, giving up just three hits (Dillard (1), Coffey (2)).

The Phillies have done what would’ve been impossible a few weeks earlier. They have beaten the ever dangerous Brewers, putting themselves in a tie with them for first place in the NL Wild Card while placing themselves just a game behind the Mets in the pennant race for the Eastern Division, and doing it with a couple of starters who would both be pitching with only three days rest (Jamie Moyer and Brett Myers), a third who was not pitching as advertised (Joe Blanton), while the team’s ace would be recovering from a beating in his previous start against their main rival in the East (Cole Hamels), while the team’s fifth starter have finally fallen apart in his last start (Kyle Kendrick), forcing the three days rest situations for both Moyer and Myers. Now, with the sweep completed and with the day off, the Phillies’ starting rotation and the bull pen looks to be in a lot stronger position for the final twelve games of the season then they did when Kendrick was getting spanked by the Marlins on September 9. Everything now depends on the offense not reverting back to the old inconsistencies if they want to get into the playoffs as either the NL Eastern Division Champ for the second straight season, or as the NL Wild Card entrance. We will all know the answer on September 28.

The Phillies, with the sweep, are now trailing the Mets by only a game in the East, as the Mets lost to the Braves. The Mets will now start a four games series against the Nationals in Washington. The Phillies now lead the Marlins by five and a half games as the fish defeated the Nationals. The Marlins will now have the day off, before they start a three games series with the Astros in Miami. In the wild card race, the reeling Brewers will also have the day off before they start an important three games series with the Cubs in Chicago, trying to regain their composure after getting swept by the Phillies. The Phillies, along with the Brewers, are now two games ahead of the Astros, who lost last night to the Cubs, as they got caught in the wrong end of a no hitter. They are presently playing the second of the two games with the Cubs that was rained out by Hurricane Ivan, and are presently trailing. The Phillies and Brewers are now four and a half games ahead of the Cardinals after their lost to the Pirates. The redbirds will have the day off today before they face the Reds for three in Cincinnati starting tomorrow. The Phillies have today off before they start a three games series in Atlanta, hoping that they can sweep their third straight series in Atlanta against the Braves.

The Phillies come from behind to defeat the Brewers, 7-3. Are now a game behind in the wild card race and a game and a half behind in the East.

The Phillies come from behind to defeat the slumping Brew Crew, using the eighth inning to their advantage for a change. The Brewers would jump to a quick 2-0 lead as, with a runner on third and one man out, Ray Durham would hit a two-run home run, his sixth home run of the year, knocking in Corey Hart, who has earlier tripled. The Phillies would cut the lead in the fourth, as, with runners on the corners and no one out, Pat Burrell would hit into a 6-4-3 double play, wiping out Ryan Howard at second, who has earlier singled, while scoring Chase Utley, who has earlier doubled and has gone to third on Howard’s single, making it 2-1 Brewers. The Brewers would get the run back in the fifth as Mike Cameron would hit a lead-off home run, his twenty-fifth home run of the year, to make it 3-1 Brewers. The Phillies would tie up the game in the sixth, when, with a runner on first and no one out, Howard would hit a massive two-run home run, his league leading forty-fourth home run of the year, scoring Utley, who has gotten on base earlier after being hit by the pitch. Then the Phillies turned the recently disastrous eighth to their favor for once. After taking out Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton for a pinch hitter in the seventh, Ryan Madson would get out the two batters that he would face via ground outs, both being 6-3 (Hart and J.J. Hardy) before Charlie Manuel would come out to replace him with Scott Eyre. Eyre would end the inning by striking out Durham on a foul tip. Durham would claim that the ball would hit the ground, but Carlos Ruiz, Manuel and Eyre would get home plate umpire Mark Wegner to double check with first base umpire Scott Barry. Barry would say that Ruiz did indeed catch the ball, as would be shown by instant reply on television, thus ending the inning. Then in the Phillies’ half of the eighth, they would break the game open. With Guillermo Mota still on the mound for his second inning of work, Jayson Werth would start off the inning with a single. Ned Yost would then come to the mound and replace Mota with Brian Shouse, who is soon greeted by a surprising sacrifice bunt by Utley, which would move Werth over to second as Utley is thrown out, 1 to 3, for the inning’s first out. Howard is then intentionally walked to get to Burrell, while putting men on first and second with still one out. But Burrell would ruin the Brewers’ strategy by hitting a RBI single, scoring Werth, and giving the Phils a 4-3 lead, while sending Howard to second. After Eric Bruntlett is sent out to first as a pinch runner for Burrell, Shane Victorino would hit a three-run home run, his twelfth home run of the year, scoring both Howard and Bruntlett, making it a 7-3 Phillies’ lead. In the ninth, Eyre would start off the inning by getting Prince Fielder out on a great play by Utley who would throw Fielder out 4-3, for the inning’s first out. Eyre would then be replaced by Brad Lidge, who would then proceed to get Ryan Braun to ground out 4-3 before he gets Cameron to end the game by striking out.

Joe Blanton would get a no-decision as he pitched seven innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits. Ryan Madson would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Scott Eyre would get the win as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, also giving up no runs or hits. His record is now 4-0 with an ERA 4.43. Brad Lidge would also go two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits and striking out one. Dave Bush would also receive a no-decision as he pitches six innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits. Guillermo Mota would get the lost as he pitches an inning plus one batter, giving up an earned run on one hit. His record is now 5-6 with an ERA of 4.10. Brian Shouse would pitch a third of an inning, giving up three earned runs on three hits. Eric Gagne would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs or hits.

Joe Blanton would this afternoon performed as originally advertised, pitching deep into a game, although having problems in the first few innings. After giving up a two-run home run in the first, thanks to a floating curveball to Ray Durham, he would calm down enough to get through seven innings, keeping the Phils in the game so that they can first tie up the game and then take the lead in the bottom of the eighth.

The second game of the Day/Night doubleheader is being played right now, with the Phillies leading 6-1 going into the bottom of the seventh inning, with Brett Myers pitching a two-hitter with the second hiting a solo home run to Prince Fielder while the Phillies have knocked out of the game Brewers’ starter Jeff Suppan in the fourth, heading for both a possible doubleheader sweep and a possible series sweep.

With the win, the Phillies are now trailing the Mets by a game and a half as they lose to the Braves. They are still five games ahead of the Marlins as they defeated the Nationals. In the Wild Card chase, the Phillies are now a game behind the Brewers, as they try to sweep them in the nightcap. They are at the moment a game ahead of the Astros, who are presently losing to the Cubs, while they are four games ahead of the Cardinals as they lose once again to the Pirates. The Phillies will be trying to sweep the Brew Crew in the second game of their doubleheader to tie for the lead in the Wild Card race while placing themselves a game behind the Mets in the East.

Phillies’ bats sting the Brewers as they tighten up things in both the Wild Card and in the East.

The Phillies’ bats would hurt the Brew Crew yesterday afternoon as they force the races to tighten up in both the Wild Card chase (2 games) and in the Eastern Division (2 and 1/2 games) as they defeated the Brewers, 7-3. The Phillies took a quick lead in the first, as, with a runner on first and with no one out, Chase Utley would hit a RBI double, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier singled, giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead, while Utley would go on to third on Rickie Weeks’  throwing error. Jayson Werth would make it 2-0 Phillies as he would hit a RBI single, scoring Utley from third. After Werth goes to second on Brewers’ starter Manny Parra’s wild pitch, Ryan Howard would reach base with a walk, putting runners on first and second with still no outs. After Pat Burrell strikes out for the inning’s first out, Shane Victorino would hit a RBI single, scoring Werth, making it 3-0 Phillies. The Phillies would increase their lead in the second, as, with the bases loaded via a double (Rollins), a single (Utley) and a walk (Werth) and with no one out, Howard would hit a two-run double, scoring both Rollins and Utley, giving the Phillies a 5-0 lead. The Brewers would cut the Phillies’ lead to 5-2 in the fourth, as, with two men on and with two outs, Jason Kendall would hit a two-run double on a ball that was misplayed by Burrell, scoring both Mike Cameron, who has earlier walked and would then move to second on Bill Hall’s single, and Hall. The Phillies would then add to their lead in the sixth, as, with a runner on second and two outs, Rollins would hit a two-run home run, his elevnth home run of the year, scoring Pedro Feliz, who has earlier singled, and has gone to second on Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels’ sacrifice bunt, making it 7-2 Phillies. The Brewers would shorten the Phillies’ lead in the eighth inning, as Ryan Braun hit a lead-off home run, his thirty-fifth home run of the year, making it 7-3 Phils. That would end up being the final score as Brad Lidge would put down the Brewers easily in the ninth.

Cole Hamels would get the win as he pitches six and a third innings, giving up only two earned runs on six hits. His record is now 13-9 with a 3.11 ERA. Chad Durbin would pitch an inning and a third, giving up an earned run on two hits. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits while walking one. Brad Lidge would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a walk. Manny Parra would get the lost as he lasts only an inning and a third, as he gives up five earned runs on seven hits while walking three. His record is now 10-8 with an ERA of 4.28. Tim Dillard would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Seth McClung would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Carlos Villanueva would pitch three innings, giving up two earned runs on two hits while striking out four. Mark DeFelice and Todd Coffey would both pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits.

The Phillies (81-67) will conclude their four games series with the Brewers (83-65, 2nd National League Central, 1st Wild Card) by playing a makeup day/night doubleheader. Both games will be played later today at Citizens Bank Park. The first game will start at 1:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (7-12 (2-0), 4.86), who is coming off a win against the Marlins on September 8, where he went five innings, giving up four earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 8-6 win. He has never pitched against the Brewers in his career. He will be going for his third win since putting on the red pinstripes while trying to get the Phillies closer to the wild card lead while also trying to eat up some more innings to help out the bullpen. His opponent will be Dave Bush (9-10, 4.23), who is coming off a no-decision against the Reds on September 8, where he went eight innings, giving up two earned runs on seven hits, in the Brewers’ 5-4 lost. He will be trying to even his record while trying to stop the Brewers’ present slide.

The second game of the twinbill will start at 7:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (9-11, 4.22), who is coming off a hard lost to the Marlins on September 10, where he went seven and one third innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits, while striking out nine, in the Phillies’ 7-3 lost. After coming back from the minors, he has gone 6-2 with two no-decisions in ten starts. He will be pitching on three days rest, eager to help his team. His opponent will be Jeff Suppan (10-8, 4.63 ), who is coming off a no-decision against the Reds, as he went five and one third innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits, in the Brewers’ 5-4 lost. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to keep the Phillies from getting any closer in the wild card race.

The Phillies are now trailing the Mets in the East by two and a half games as they spilt a doubleheader with the Braves. They are five games ahead of the Marlins as they defeated the Nationals. In the Wild Card chase, they now trail the Brewers by two games as they prepare to finish their series. They are ahead of the Astros by half a game as they prepare to finally play the Cubs while they are five games ahead of the Cardinals as they lost to the Pirates. The Phillies will be trying to sweep the doubleheader so that they can leave Philadelphia tied for the Wild Card lead and close to the Mets in the East.

The Phillies-Brewers game has been postponed because of rain.

The second game between the Phillies (80-67) and the Brewers (83-64, 2nd National League Central, 1st NL Wild Card) has been postponed because of rain. Although no make up game has yet been scheduled, since both teams have the day off this upcoming Monday, it’ll more than likely be made up on that date. The next game in the four games series will be played tomorrow afternoon. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 3:55 pm Eastern, and will be shown nationally on Fox Sports. The Phillies’ starter will most likely be their ace Cole Hamels (12-9, 3.12), who is coming off a disastrous start against the Mets on September 7, where he only went five innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits, in the Phils’ 6-3 lost. Lifetime against the Brewers, he is 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA in four starts. He will be trying once again for his thirteenth win, while trying to see if he can keep the slumping Brewers’ bats quiet and put the Brewers into panic mode with a win against them. The Brewers will likely counter with Manny Parra (10-7, 4.03), who is coming off a lost against the Padres on September 7, as he goes five innings, giving up six runs, only one of which was earned, on six hits, in the Brewers’ 10-1 lost. He will be trying to see if he can stop the Brewers present slide while trying to stop the Phillies from getting any closer to them in the wild card race.

Because of the rain out, the Philles are presently still three games behind the Mets, as the Mets, in a rain delay in New York, prepare to play the Braves. The Phillies are ahead of the Marlins by five and a half games as the fish play the Nationals in Miami. In the wild card chase, the Phillies trail the Brewers by three games as they continue their series, while they are still tied with the Astros for second place in the wild card race as they now wait out Hurricane Ivan for the next two days before facing the Cubs on the 14th, while they are both ahead of the Cardinals by a game and a half as they play the Pirates, which is also in a rain delay. The Phillies hope to be able to gain ground in both the East and in the wild card race.

Updates: The rain out will be made up tomorrow as part of a day/night doubleheader. The Mets were also rained out, so the Phillies are still trailing the Mets by three games in the East, as the Mets prepared to face the Braves this afternoon. The Phillies are now ahead of the Marlins by five games as they defeated the Nationals, who they will be playing again tonight. In the wild card chase, as the Phils and Brewers prepare for this afternoon’s game, the Astros have to wait one more day before they can play the Cubs thanks to Hurricane Ivan. The Cardinals are now trailing both the Phillies and the Astros by two games as they lost to the Pirates, whom they will be playing again tonight.

Phillies gain ground in the East and in the Wild Card Race as they defeated the Brewers, 6-3.

The Phillies, behind the pitching of Jamie Moyer and the bullpen, would gain ground on both the Mets in the East and the Brewers in the Wild Card chase as they defeated the slumping Brew Crew, 6-3. The Phillies would take a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Ryan Howard hit a monster 2-run shot into center field, his forty-third home run of the year, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier singled, and has moved to second on Jayson Werth’s ground out, third to first. The Brewers would cut the Phils’ lead in the third inning as, with two outs, J.J. Hardy hit a solo home run, his twenty-fourth home run of the year, to make it 2-1 Phillies. The Phillies would increase their lead in the fourth, as, with a runner on first and no one out, Howard would hit a RBI double, scoring Chase Utley, who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies a 3-1 lead. Three batters later, with a runner on third, and two out, Pedro Feliz would hit a RBI double, knocking in Howard, who has gone to third on Shane Victorino’s ground out to first for the inning’s second out, making it 4-1 Phillies. The Brewers would shorten the Phillies’ lead again in the sixth as, with a man on third and two outs, a slumping Prince Fielder would hit a two-run home run, scoring Rickie Weeks, who has earlier doubled and has gone to third on Ryan Braun’s deep fly out to center field, to make it a 4-3 Phillies’ lead. The Phils would get a run back in their half of the sixth, as, with a runner on first and one man out, Carlos Ruiz would hit a RBI double, scoring Feliz, who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies a 5-3 lead. The Brew Crew tried to get close in the eighth. With Ryan Madson still pitching in relief of Phils’ starter Jamie Moyer, Weeks would start the inning off with a single. Madson would then get the next two batters, Hardy and Braun, to strike out swinging. Charlie Manuel would then take out Madson and bring in Scott Eyre to face the still dangerous Fielder, since Eyre has his number career-wise. But, on this occassion, Fielder woule be able to work a walk, putting two men on base with the go ahead run coming up to the plate in Corey Hart. Manuel would come back out and replace Eyre with Chad Durbin. Durbin would then, with one pitch, end the inning as Hart hit sharply to Rollins, who would throw over to Utley to force out Fielder at second for the third out. In the Phillies’ eighth, they would tack on one more run as Ruiz would use a sacrifice squeeze to force in Victorino, who has reached base on a single, went to second on relief pitcher Carlos Villanueva’s throwing error on a pickoff attempt, and has gone to third on Feliz’s sacrifice bunt, giving the Phillies a 6-3 lead. That would turn out to be the ballgame as Brad Lidge would come out and shut the door on the Brewers with a 1-2-3 ninth, as he records his thirty-sixth save in as many tries.

Jamie Moyer would get the win, as he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up only three earned runs on four hits. His record is now 14-7, the team’s leader in wins, with a 3.68 ERA. Ryan Madson pitched two scoreless innings, giving up only two hits while striking out two. Scott Eyre would face only one batter, walking him. Chad Durbin would pitch a third of an inning, facing only one batter and retiring him on a force out. Brad Lidge would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth, giving up no hits as he striked out one batter. Ben Sheets would get the lost as he pitches six innings, giving up five earned runs on nine hits. His record is now 13-8 with a 2.97 ERA. Carlos Villanueva would pitch two innings in relief, giving up an unearned run on one hit, while striking out three.

The Phillies’ offense, for once, refused to just score runs early and then just quit, as they would score their final run of the game on a suicide squeeze, a play that they would normally not use. Maybe they have finally decided to do everything that they can to manufacture runs if they can’t normally do so with the bat? I guess we’ll see during their last fifteen games. Jamie Moyer, with three games rest, wasn’t perfect, but he was good enough to keep the slumping, but still very dangerous, bats of the Brew Crew silent during his five and two-thirds innings of work, giving up only four hits, although all four would be for extra-bases (2B (2), HR (2)). The Phillies’ bullpen would then come on to keep the Brewers quiet for the rest of the game, although just barely getting out of the now seemingly dangerous eighth inning by the skin of their teeth.

The Phillies (80-67) continue their four games series with the Brewers (83-64, 2nd National League Central, 1st NL Wild Card) with a night game tonight. It will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be their ace Cole Hamels (12-9, 3.12), who is coming off a disastrous start against the Mets on September 7, where he only went five innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits, in the Phils’ 6-3 lost. Lifetime against the Brew Crew, he is 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA in four starts. He will be trying once again for his thirteenth win, while trying to see if he can keep the slumping Brewers’ bats quiet and put the Brewers into panic mode with a win against them. The Brewers will counter with Manny Parra (10-7, 4.03), who is coming off a lost against the Padres on September 7, as he goes five innings, giving up six runs, only one of which was earned, on six hits, in the Brewers’ 10-1 lost. He will be trying to see if he can stop the Brewers present slide while trying to stop the Phillies from getting any closer them in the wild card race.

With the victory, the Philles are now three games behind the Mets, as the Mets prepare to face the Braves for a three games weekend series. The Phillies are ahead of the Marlins by five and a half games as the fish prepare to meet the Nationals for three games. In the wild card chase, the Phillies trail the Brewers by three games as they continue their series, while they are still tied with the Astros for second place in the wild card as they’d defeated the Pirates, before they go to wait out Hurricane Ivan for the next two days before facing the Cubs on the 14th, while they are both ahead of the Cardinals by a game and a half after losing to the Cubs before they begin a series against the Pirates this weekend. The Phillies hope to be able to gain ground in both the East and in the wild card race.

Trying to get into the playoffs, hoping to do it at the Brew Crew’s expense.

The Phillies (79-67) will start an important four games series with the Brewers (83-63, 2nd National League Central, 1st N.L. Wild Card). The first game of the series will be played tonight at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be the veteran Jamie Moyer (13-7,  3.64), who is coming off a victory against the Mets on September 7, where he threw seven innings of shut out ball, giving up only two hits, in the Phillies’ 6-2 win. Moyer will be coming off of just three days rest, something he hasn’t done in over two seasons with the Phillies, as the Phils hope that he will be able to give them another quality start while putting them back on the winning track. The Brewers’ starter will be Ben Sheets (13-7, 2.82), who is also coming off a victory, with his against the Padres on September 6, as he pitched a complete game shut out, giving up only five hits, in the Brewers’ 1-0 win. He will be trying for his fourteenth win of the year while trying to put a nail into the coffin of the Phils’ chances to reach the playoffs.

As the Phillies hope that Jamie Moyer will be ready to pitch with three days rest, the team hopes that the offense will finally decide to wake up and start scoring some runs. Of course, they will need to stop putting pressure on themselves to do it. This team need to seriously take this one game at a time instead of trying to win everything at one time. If they can stay within themselves and start to actually play situational baseball and continue playing situational baseball, they might be able to get into the playoffs again. If they don’t, they better just start getting ready to back their bags.

The Phillies now trail the Mets by three and a half games in the East as they have the day off. The Marlins now trail the Phillies by five games as they also take the day off. In the wild card chase, the Phillies trail the Brewers by four games, as the two teams face off at Citizens Bank Park, while they are tied with the Astros for second place in the wild card race as the Astros play the Pirates tonight, while the two teams are both a half-game ahead of the Cardinals who will be facing the Cubs tonight. The Phillies will be doing whatever they can to get back into the Eastern Division pennant race, as well as putting as much pressure as they can on the Brew Crew in the wild card chase with sixteen games left in their season.

Brett Myers stayed in one inning too long as the Phillies lose again to the Marlins, 7-3.

Brett Myers talked himself into pitching the eighth inning, and this time he was unable to get through the danger zone inning as the Phillies lose another game to the pesky Marlins, 7-3. The Phillies would take the lead in the second inning as Ryan Howard lead-off the inning hitting a solo home run, his forty-second home run of the year, giving the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead. The Marlins would take the lead in the third, as, with a man on first and one out, Luis Gonzalez would hit a two-run home run, knocking in Hanley Ramirez, who has earlier walked, to give the Marlins a 2-1 lead. The Marlins would add to their lead in the fourth, as, with a runner on third and two outs, Marlins’ starter Ricky Nolasco would help his own cause by hitting a RBI single, scoring Dallas McPherson, who has earlier doubled, and has gone to third on Alfredo Amezaga’s ground out to first for the inning’s second out, to make it 3-1 Marlins. The Phillies would come back in the fifth, as, with a runner on first and no one out, Chris Coste would hit a RBI double, scoring Greg Dobbs, who has earlier singled, to cut the Marlins’ lead to 3-2. Two outs later, Coste, after being moved to third by a Brett Myers’ sacrifice bunt, would score on a Jayson Werth single, tying the ballgame. Neither team would score in both the sixth and seventh innings, as Nolasco and Myers would take control of the game. Myers, although having already thrown 104 pitches by the start of the eighth inning, would talk Charlie Manuel into letting him start the inning. Manuel would give him the ball, obviously hoping that he could get the team through the presently nightmarish inning. Sadly, it was not to be as Gonzalez would start the inning off with a single. After Brett Carroll would come in to pitch run for Gonzalez, Myers would proceed to strike out Dan Uggla for the first out of the inning. Mike Jacobs would then follow with a single, sending Carroll to third. As the Marlins sent out Robert Andino to pinch run for Jacobs, Manuel would come out and replace Myers with Chad Durbin to try and put out the fire. Sadly, that didn’t work as Durbin would give up a ground rule double to Josh Willingham, scoring Carroll, making it a 4-3 Marlins’ lead, while sending Andino to third, because of fan’s interference with the ball, that didn’t seem to have occurred according to instant replay. Durbin would then intentionally walk McPherson to load the bases. That move would work as the next batter, Paul Lo Duca, would hit into a 5-4-3 double play, ending the inning. After the Phillies go 1-2-3 in their half of the eighth, the Marlins would break the game wide open in the ninth. Amezaga would start the inning off with a single. After Matt Treanor moves Amezaga to second with a sacrifice bunt for the inning’s first out, Durbin would intentionally walk Ramirez. After Durbin is replaced by J.C. Romero, he would get pinch hitter Cody Ross to fly out for the second out of the inning. But Romero would be unable to get out of the inning as Uggla would follow with a RBI double, scoring both Amezaga and Ramirez, giving the Marlins a 6-3 lead. Romero is then replaced by Clay Condrey. Wes Helm would greet Condrey with a single, scoring Uggla, making it a 7-3 Marlins’ lead. Condrey would finally end the disaster by getting Willingham to line out to left. Matt Lindstrom would then come in the pitch an easy 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth to end the game.

Brett Myers took the hard lost as he goes seven and a third innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits, while striking out nine. His record is now 9-11 with a 4.22 ERA. Chad Durbin would pitch an inning of relief, giving up two earned runs on two hits. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Clay Condrey would also pitch a third of an inning, giving up only a hit. Ricky Nolasco would get the win as he pitches seven and two-thirds innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits, while striking out eight. His record is now 14-7 with a 3.56 ERA. Arthur Rhodes would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Matt Lindstrom would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth.

Brett Myers gave it a good try, but he would simply run out of gas thanks to a high pitch count, while the offense would decide to quit hitting after tying up the game in the fifth inning,  getting only one man on base, on a walk to Pat Burrell in the sixth, after Jayson Werth’s RBI single. Myers might not have been sent out to pitch the eighth if the Phillies’ bullpen has been doing well, but of late it has been having a hard time getting through the eight inning. Charlie Manuel’s decision to let Myers go back up out, even with his high count, could have been a good move if Myers had gotten through the inning quickly. Sadly, he would throw thirteen pitches to the three men that he would face in the inning, getting out only one of them. And, of the two that would get on, one would eventually score the game winning run. Meanwhile, the Phillies’ offense went back to it old trick of stopping everything after a certain point, in this case after they have scored the tying run. You folks already know what I think about the offense, so I won’t say much more about it other than this: AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Somebody please wake me up from this recurring nightmare!!!!!

The Phillies (79-67) will now start an important four games series with the Brewers (83-63, 2nd National League Central, 1st N.L. Wild Card). The first games of the series will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Jamie Moyer (13-7,  3.64), who is coming off a victory against the Mets on September 7, where he threw seven innings of shut out ball, giving up only two hits, in the Phillies’ 6-2 win. Moyer is coming off of just three days rest, something he hasn’t done in over two seasons with the Phillies, as the Phils hope that he will give them another quality start while putting them back on the winning track. The Brewers will start Ben Sheets (13-7, 2.82), who is coming off a victory against the Padres on September 6, as he pitched a complete game shut out, giving up only five hits, in the Brewers’ 1-0 win. He will be trying for his fourteenth win of the year while trying to put a nail into the coffin of the Phils’ chances to reach the playoffs.

The Phillies are now trailing the Mets by three and a half games in the East as they defeated the Nationals last night. The Mets have the day off today. The Marlins now trail the Phillies by five games as they also take the day off. In the wild card chase, the Phillies trail the Brewers by four games, as the two teams face off at Citizens Bank Park, while they are tied with the Astros for second place in the wild card race as the Astros defeated the Pirates yesterday, who they will be facing tonight, while the two teams are a half-game ahead of the Cardinals who lost to the Cubs last night, who they will be facing tonight. The Phillies will be doing whatever they can to get back into the Eastern Division pennant race, as well as putting as much pressure as they can on the Brew Crew in the wild card chase with sixteen games left in the season.

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