Results tagged ‘ Will Ohman ’

The Phils split a doubleheader with the Marlins, losing game one 7-1 before winning the night cap, 7-4, as they cut the Braves’ lead in the East to a half game.

The Phils split a doubleheader with the Marlins, losing the afternoon game, 7-1, before roaring back to win the second game, 7-4, as they cut the Braves’ lead in the NL East to a half game.

In the afternoon game, the Marlins took the lead in the first as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Dan Uggla hits an RBI single, knocking in Logan Morrison, who had earlier walked, and then went to second on Vance Worley’s wild pitch, giving the Marlins a 1-0 lead, while Uggla would reach third on Brian Schneider’s throwing error, when he tried to throw Uggla out at second when he tried to advance on Raul Ibanez’s throw to the plate. The Marlins made it a 2-0 lead in the second as Chad Tracy hits a lead-off home run, his first home run of the season. The Marlins would then break the game open in the eighth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Mike Stanton hits a two-run home run, his sixteenth home run of the year, knocking in Uggla, who had earlier doubled, making it a 4-0 lead. The Marlins would increase their lead in the ninth as, with the bases loaded, via a walk to Wes Helm, a single by Emilio Bonifacio, with Helm stopping at second base, and Hanley Ramirez being hit by the pitch, with both runners moving up a base, and with one man out, Uggla hits a two-run double, scoring both Helm and Bonifacio, giving the Marlins a 6-0 lead, while Ramirez would stop at third. Three batters later, after pinch hitter Cameron Maybin is hit by the pitch, and is then pinch run for by Scott Cousins, and now with two men out, Stanton hits an RBI infield single, scoring Ramirez, making it a 7-0 Marlins’ lead, while moving Uggla to third and Cousins to second. The Phils would finally get on the scoreboard in the ninth as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Jayson Werth hits an RBI single, scoring Ryan Howard, who had just doubled, making it 7-1 Marlins’ lead. That would be the final score, though, as Rollins grounds out to end the game, 1-3.

Vance Worley gets the lost as he pitches five innings, giving up two runs on six hits, a walk and a wild pitch, while striking out five. His record is now 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA. David Herndon and Antonio Bastardo pitches one and two-thirds innings of shut out ball, giving up two hits (Herndon) between them. Chad Durbin pitches an inning and a third, giving up two runs on two hits, while striking out three. Mike Zagurski pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up three runs on two hits, a walk and two hit batters, while striking out one. Nate Robertson pitches a third of an inning, giving up a hit. Adalberto Mendez gets the win as he pitches six innings, before leaving the game with an injury in the seventh, giving up just one hit and two walks, while striking out six. His record is now 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. Will Ohman records his seventeenth hold of the year as he pitches a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Jose Veras also records a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two. Jose Ceda pitches to three batters, giving up a run on two hits and a walk. Clay Hensley pitches a 1-2-3 inning.

The Phils had only three hits in the game, a single by Brian Schneider, a double by Ryan Howard and an RBI single by Jayson Werth. The Phils’ bats were unable to do anything otherwise.

In the nightcap, the Marlins took a 1-0 lead in the second as, with two men out, Stanton hits a solo home run, his seventeenth home run of the year. The Phils’ offense then struck back in their half of the second as, with the bases loaded, via singles by Rollins and Ibanez and a walk by Dom Brown, moving both Rollins and Ibanez up a base, and with nobody out, the Phils would tie the score at one-all as Carlos Ruiz walk, forcing in Rollins, while moving Ibanez to third base and Brown to second. Two batters later, the Phils took a 2-1 lead as Shane Victorino hits an RBI single, knocking in Ibanez, before Brown, who was trying to score, is gunned down by Stanton, 9-2, for the inning’s second out, while Ruiz, who had reached second on Victorino’s hit, would go to third on the throw to the plate. After Victorino steals second base to put runners on second and third, and with two men out, Placido Polanco hits a ground-rule double, thanks to a fan touching the ball as it went towards the third base seats, scoring both Ruiz and Victorino, to give the Phils a 4-2 lead. The Phils then took a 5-1 lead as Chase Utley hits an RBI single, scoring Polanco, before moving up to second on the throw to the plate. The Marlins got two runs back in the third as, with a runner on base, and with two men out, Ramirez hits a two-run home run, his twenty-first home run of the year, knocking in Morrison, who had just walked, making it a 5-3 Phils’ lead. The Marlins then cut the lead to 5-4 in the fifth as, with two men out, Maybin hits a solo home run, his eighth home run of the year. The Phils would get the run back in their half of the fifth as, with a runner on third, and with nobody out, Utley hits an RBI single, scoring Polanco, who had earlier tripled, making it a 6-4 Phils’ lead. Three batters later, with two men on, and with one man out, Ibanez hits an RBI double, scoring Utley, who had moved up to second base on an Anibal Sanchez wild pitch, giving the Phils a 7-4 lead, while sending Howard, who had earlier walked, on to third base. That would be the final score as the Phils would keep the Marlins’ bats quiet for the final four innings, with Brad Lidge collecting his twenty-first save as he strikes out Cousins swinging for the final out.

Roy Oswalt gets the win as he pitches seven innings, giving up four runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out seven. His record is now 11-13 (5-1) with a 3.09 (2.30) ERA. J.C. Romero pitches to one batter, walking him. Ryan Madson collects his eleventh hold of the year as he pitches a scoreless inning, striking out a batter. Brad Lidge collects his twenty-first save of the season as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out two. Anibal Sanchez took the lost as he pitches only four innings plus three batters, giving up seven runs on seven hits and three walks, while he strikes out two. His record is now 11-9 with a 3.45 ERA. Jorge Sosa and Jay Buente combine for four scoreless innings, giving up three hits (Sosa (2), Buente (1)) and walking two (one each), while striking out three (Sosa (2), Buente (1)) between them.

The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Shane Victorino leading the team with three hits, all singles, as he knocks in a run. He is followed by Placido Polanco, Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez who all had two hits each, with Polanco’s hits being a double and a triple, knocking in two runs, Utley’s hits being two singles, knocking in two runs and Ibanez’s hits being a single and a double, knocking in a run. Jimmy Rollins had the other Phil hit, a single. Carlos Ruiz had the other Phil RBI, on a bases loaded walk. The Phils’ offense came out to score some runs for Oswalt.

The Phils (79-60, 2nd) will continue their four-game series with the Marlins (70-67, 3rd) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and it will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (6-6, 5.25), who is coming off a no-decision against the Rockies on September 1, as he pitched just four and a third innings, giving up six runs, four of which were earned, on ten hits and two walks, while striking out three, in the Phils’ 12-11 win. In his last three starts, his record is 1-0 with two no-decisions, as he pitched seventeen and a third innings, giving up eight runs, six of which were earned, on twenty-two hits and three walks, while striking out fifteen. He will be trying to get his seventh win of the year, while also putting his win-loss record on the positive side for the first time this season. The Marlins will counter with Chris Volstad (9-9, 4.82), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on September 1, as he pitched five innings, giving up six runs on nine hits and a walk, while striking out four, in the Marlins’ 16-10 win. In his last three starts, his record is 3-0, as he pitched nineteen innings, giving up nine runs on twenty hits and four walks, while striking out thirteen. He will be trying for his fourth straight win. The Phils will be out to take the lead from the Braves, if they lose again to the Pirates.

Ruiz’s extra-innings blast push the Phils past the fish as they sweep the Marlins, 5-4.

A blast by Carlos Ruiz in the top of the tenth, after the Phils should had lost it in the bottom half of a real weird ninth because of an ump’s bad call, leads the Phils to an extra-innings win, and a sweep of the free falling Marlins, 5-4.

The game for the first five innings was a pitchers’ duel between Phils’ starter Roy Oswalt and Marlins’ starter Chris Volstad, with both man getting out of bases loaded jams, Volstad in the top of the first, Oswalt in the bottom of the second. The Phils took the lead in the sixth as, with two men on, and with two outs, Carlos Ruiz hits a two-run double, knocking in Raul Ibanez, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second on Dom Brown’s single, and Brown, who had just singled, to give the Phils a 2-0 lead. The Marlins then cut the Phils’ lead in the seventh as, with two men on base, and with one man out, pinch hitter Donnie Murphy hits a pinch hit ground-rule double, knocking in Wes Helms, who had earlier singled, and was safe on second when Ronnie Paulino sacrifice bunted into a force out at third, forcing out Mike Stanton, 1-5, to make it a 2-1 Phils’ lead, while Paulino, who was safe at first on the fail sacrifice bunt attempt, stopped at third. Two batters later, after Paulino is replaced at third by pinch runner Brett Hayes and Hanley Ramirez is intentionally walked to load the bases, the Marlins tied the game at two-all as Logan Morrison walks, forcing in Hayes with the tying run, while moving both Murphy and Ramirez up a base. The Marlins then took a 4-2 lead as Gaby Sanchez hits a two-run single, scoring both Murphy and Ramirez. The Phils then come back in the ninth. They begin the inning with Placido Polanco reaching base on a throwing error by Ramirez. Ross Gload then follows with a single, sending Polanco to second. The next batter, Raul Ibanez, then follows with a double, scoring Polanco, making it a 4-3 Marlins’ lead, while sending Gload to third base, with nobody out. Jayson Werth then tie the game at four-all with an RBI single, knocking in Gload, while sending Ibanez to third. Then the inning starts to get weird. Brown hits a sharp grounder to first, which is caught by Sanchez, who then throws home, catching Ibanez, who was trying to score from third on contact. Ibanez is then run back to third, before being tagged out for the inning’s first out, 3-2-5, while Werth would be safe at second, and Brown at first. Then, with Ruiz batting, Werth is picked off second, before being tagged out, 1-4, for the inning’s second out. Then, with the count 0-2 on Ruiz, the Marlins pitch out, before throwing out Brown on a steal attempt, 2-4, for the inning’s final out, as the Phils run themselves out of an inning. In the bottom of the ninth, the Marlins tries to win the game as their lead-off man, Ramirez, gets on base by being hit by the pitch, then steals second as Morrison strikes out swinging, putting him in scoring position with one out. The next batter, Sanchez, then hits a grounder down the third base line that is declared a foul ball by the third base umpire, while instant reply shows that it had actually been fair, denying the Marlins the chance of a walk-off win, as Sanchez then strikes out swinging for the second out. After Dan Uggla is intentionally walked, Cody Ross ends the inning by also striking out, swinging. In the tenth, the Phils regain the lead as Ruiz hits a lead-off home run, his fifth home run of the year, giving the Phils a 5-4 lead. That would end up being the final score, as Brad Lidge collects his twelfth save of the season by getting Emilio Bonifacio to end the game by flying out to right.

Roy Oswalt receives a no-decision as he pitches six innings and a third, giving up two runs on three hits and four walks, while striking out five. J.C. Romero pitches to three batters as he collects his third blown save, as he gives up two runs on a hit and two walks. Jose Contreras pitches two thirds of an inning, giving up a hit, as he strikes out two. Danys Baez pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Ryan Madson gets the win as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a walk and hitting a batter, while striking out the side. His record is now 4-1 with a 4.37 ERA. Brad Lidge records his twelfth save of the year as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out two. Chris Volstad also receives a no-decision, as he pitches five and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out two. Jose Veras pitches an inning and a third, giving up two hits, while striking out two. Clay Hensley collects his eighteenth hold as he pitches a scoreless inning, walking a batter, while striking out a batter. Leo Nunez blew his sixth save attempt of the year as he pitches an inning, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on three hits. Will Ohman took the lost as he pitches an inning, giving up a run on one hit, while striking out two. His record is now 0-1 with a 3.27 ERA.

The Phils had fourteen hits, with Placido Polanco, Raul Ibanez and Carlos Ruiz all leading the team with three hits each, with Polanco’s hits being singles, as he scored a run, while Ibanez’s hits were two singles and a double, as he knocked in a run and Ruiz’s hits were two doubles and a solo home run, once again being a triple short of the cycle, as he knocks in three runs. They were followed by Jayson Werth, who had two hits, both singles, as he knocks in a run. Jimmy Rollins, Ross Gload and Dom Brown had the other three Phils’ hits, all singles, as both Gload and Brown scored a run. Newcomer Mike Sweeney went to the plate in the eighth as a pinch hitter, receiving a walk. The Phils’ offense outhit the Marlins, although it took a bit of luck in the late innings for them to leave Miami with a series sweep.

The Phils (60-48, 2nd) come home to start a home stand, playing a three-game weekend series with the fading Mets (54-54, 3rd). The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm. The Phils will start the series with Joe Blanton (4-6, 5.86), who is coming off a no-decision against the Nationals on July 31, as he pitched six innings, giving up four runs on nine hits and a walk, while striking out eight, in the Phils’ 7-5 walk-off lost. In his last three starts, his record is 1-1 with a no-decision, as he pitched nineteen innings, giving up eleven runs, nine of which were earned, on twenty-two hits and five walks, while striking out thirteen. He will be trying to start off the home stand on a winning note, while trying to stop giving up first inning runs. The Mets will counter with Jon Niese (7-5, 3.78), who is coming off a lost to the D-backs on August 1, as he pitched only four and a third innings, giving up seven runs, six of which were earned, on seven hits and three walks, while striking out two, in the Mets’ 14-1 lost. In his last three starts, his record is 1-1 with a no-decision, as he pitched fifteen and a third innings, giving up eleven runs, ten of which were earned, on twenty hits and six walks, while striking out nine. He will be trying to keep the Mets afloat. The Phils will be trying to increase their home winning streak to twelve games and their recent winning streak to five games, while trying to help sink the Mets chances even more.

Brown’s bat and glove leads the Phils to a road series win over the fish as the Phils defeat the Marlins, 7-2.

Knocking in three runs with his bat, while gunning down a runner at home with his glove, Dom Brown help leads the Phils to a 7-2 win over the Marlins, for the Phils first road win since they took two of three from the Yankees back in June.

After an almost hour long rain delay, the Phils took the lead in the first as, with two men on, and with two men out, Ross Gload hits an RBI single, scoring Placido Polanco, who had earlier singled and then moved up to second on Anibal Sanchez’s wild pitch, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while sending Raul Ibanez, who had earlier walked, on to second base. One batter later, with two men still on base, and with still two men out, Dom Brown hits an RBI single, scoring Ibanez, making it a 2-0 Phils’ lead, while sending Gload to third, while Brown would move up to second on the unsuccessful throw to the plate. The Marlins tried to get back into the game in their half of the first as, with runners on the corners, via singles to Logan Morrison and Gaby Sanchez, with G. Sanchez’s single sending Morrison to third, and with one man out, Dan Uggla hits a fly ball to right, which was not deep. Morrison, after Brown had caught the ball for the inning’s second out, decided not to test Brown’s arm, which was a smart move as Brown threw a one bounce strike to home, which was caught by Carlos Ruiz. Kyle Kendrick then got out of the inning by getting Cody Ross to hit into a force out, 5-4, forcing out G. Sanchez at second base. The Marlins then cut the Phils’ lead in the second as Mike Stanton hits a lead-off home run, his tenth home run of the year, making it a 2-1 Phils’ lead. The Marlins then tried to tied the game up at two-all in the third as, with G. Sanchez on second, via a double, and with two men out, Uggla hits a single to right. Brown, after picking up the ball, threw a one bounce strike to the plate, throwing out G. Sanchez, as Ruiz blocks the plate, before applying the tag, ending the inning with the Phils’ still leading 2-1. The Phils then proceeded to add to their lead in the fifth as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Ibanez hits an RBI single, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier singled, and had gone to second on Polanco’s single, giving the Phils a 3-1 lead, while sending Polanco to second, before he would move up to third on the late throw to the plate, while Ibanez would move up to second. The Phils then took a 4-1 lead as, with the bases now loaded, as Gload is intentionally walked, and now with one man out, Brown hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Polanco. The Marlins would get a run back in their half of the fifth as, with two men on, and with two men out, G. Sanchez hits an RBI single, knocking in Hanley Ramirez, who had earlier singled, and moved up to second base on Morrison’s single, making it a 4-2 Phils’ lead, while sending Morrison, who had earlier singled, to third, before moving up to second on the throw home. Kendrick then got out of the inning as Rollins robbed Uggla of a hit by catching his line drive for the inning’s final out. The Phils then got that run back in the sixth as, with the bases loaded, via a double by Kendrick, a walk to Rollins and a walk to Polanco, moving both Kendrick and Rollins up a base, and with one man out, Ibanez hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Kendrick, making it a 5-2 Phils’ lead, while sending Rollins up to third base. The Phils then put the game out of reach in the ninth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Brown hits a grounder to Uggla, who threw to second, trying to force out Jayson Werth, who had earlier reached base on a single, but the ball went into left center field, allowing Ibanez, who had earlier singled, and had gone to second on Werth’s single, then reached third on Gload’s fly out, giving the Phils a 6-2 lead, while allowing Werth to reach third, while Brown was safe at first on the throwing error. One batter later, the Phils made it 7-2 as Ruiz hits an RBI single, scoring Werth, while sending Brown up to second base. That would be the final score as Brad Lidge pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.

Kyle Kendrick got the win as he pitches six innings, giving up two runs on eight hits, while striking out five. His record is now 7-4 with a 4.37 ERA. Jose Contreras receives his ninth hold of the year as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Ryan Madson receives his second hold as he also pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out two. Brad Lidge pitches a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out a batter. Anibal Sanchez took the lost as he pitches only four and a third innings, giving up four runs on seven hits, a wild pitch and three walks. His record is now 8-7 with a 3.50 ERA. Taylor Tankersley pitches two-thirds of an inning, getting out the two men whom he would face. Brian Sanches pitches a third of an inning, giving up a run on one hit and two walks. Will Ohman and Clay Hensley combine for two and two-thirds scoreless innings, giving up a walk (Hensley), while striking out two (Ohman), between them. Leo Nunez pitches an inning, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk.

The Phils had eleven hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins, Placido Polanco and Raul Ibanez leading the team with two hits each, all singles, with Ibanez knocking in two runs, while both Polanco and Ibanez each scored two runs, while Rollins scored a run. Jayson Werth, Ross Gload, Dom Brown, Carlos Ruiz and Kyle Kendrick had the other five Phils’ hits, with Kendrick’s hit being the team’s only double. Gload and Ruiz both knocked in a run, while Brown knocked in three, one on a sac fly and the other on a throwing error. The bats, or at least most of them, are presently taking up the slack while Ryan Howard is on the disabled list. Hopefully, it’ll stay that way after he’s back.

The Phils (59-48, 2nd) will conclude their three-game series with the Marlins (53-54, 4th) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Sun Life Stadium and will start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Roy Oswalt (0-1 (6-13), 6.00 (3.53)), who is coming off a lost to the Nationals on July 30, as he pitched six innings, giving up five runs, four of which were earned, on seven hits and two walks, while striking out four, in the Phils’ 8-1 lost. In his last three starts as both an Astro and a Phil, he is 0-3, as he pitched sixteen innings, giving up thirteen runs, twelve of which were earned, on twenty-three hits and three walks, while striking out twelve. He will be trying for his first win as a Phil and his first win in four starts. The Marlins will counter with Chris Volstad (5-8, 4.71), who is coming off a win against the Padres on July 30, as he went five innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and three walks, while striking out one, in the Marlins’ 4-2 win. In his last three starts, he is 1-1 with a no-decision, as he pitched fourteen innings, giving up ten runs on seventeen hits and nine walks, while striking out seven. He will be trying to keep the Marlins from being swept. The Phils will be going for the sweep tonight, hoping to cut the Braves’ lead in the East to a game and a half, as the Braves are off tonight.

Moyer is once again denied his 250th career victory as the Phils lose to the Dodgers, 9-2.

For his third straight start, Jamie Moyer is denied his 250th career win, as he is once again knocked out of the box in spite of a good start as the Phils are beaten by the Dodgers, 9-2.

The Phils took a quick 1-0 lead in the second as Jimmy Rollins hits a lead-off solo home run, his second home run of the season. The Dodgers tied the game up at one-all in the fourth, as, with a runner on second, and nobody out, Orlando Hudson hits an RBI double, knocking in Rafael Furcal, who had earlier doubled. Three batters later, the Dodgers would take the lead, as, with one out, and runners on the corners, James Loney hits a three-run home run, his first home run of the season, scoring Hudson, who had gone to third on Andre Ethier’s ground out to first, 3-unassisted, and Russell Martin, who had just walked, giving the Dodgers a 4-1 lead. The Dodgers would make it 5-1, as, with two men on, and still one out, Matt Kemp, who had earlier singled and had gone to second on Casey Blake’s single, would score all the way from second on Dodgers’ starter Randy Wolf’s sacrifice bunt, while Blake, who had earlier singled, would move on to second base. The Dodgers would add to their lead in the fifth, as, with runners on the corners, and one out, Loney hits an RBI single, knocking in Hudson, who had earlier doubled and had gone to third on Martin’s single, giving the Dodgers a 6-1 lead, while sending Martin to second base. After Kemp had walked to load the bases, Blake made it a 7-1 Dodgers lead by hitting a sacrifice fly, scoring Martin, while sending Loney to third base. The Dodgers would increase their lead to 9-1 in the top of the ninth, as, with a runner on base, and two outs, Kemp hits a two-run home run, his seventh home run of the year, as he knocked in Kemp, who had earlier singled. The Phils got a run back in their half of the ninth, as Raul Ibanez hits a lead-off solo home run, his tenth home run of the year, making it a 9-2 Dodgers lead. But that would be the game, as Dodgers’ manager Joe Torrie would then send out two relievers to stop any possible Phillies rally.

Jamie Moyer took the lost, once again denied his 250th career win, as he would only go four and a third innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out one. His record is now 3-3 with a rather high ERA of 8.15. J.A. Happ pitched two-thirds of an inning in relief, giving up no runs on one hit and a walk. Jack Taschner pitched two scoreless innings, giving up just two hits and two walks, while striking out one. Clay Condrey also pitched two innings, giving up two runs on three hits, while striking out two. Randy Wolf got the win as he pitched six strong innings, giving up only a run on three hits and three walks, while striking out eight. His record is now 2-1 with a 2.77 ERA. Ramon Troncoso pitched an inning and a third of relief, giving up no runs on one hit and a walk. Will Ohman pitched two thirds of an inning, plus one batter, giving up one run on one hit. James McDonald pitched a third of an inning, giving up a walk. Brent Leach pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs or hits, while striking out a batter.

The Phillies only got five hits in the game, with Carlos Ruiz leading the team with two hits, both doubles. Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez and Jayson Werth got the other three Phillies’ hits, with Rollins and Ibanez’s hits being solo home runs, accounting for the Phils only runs. The Phillies’ bats have been a bit sluggish during the last several days, while most of their starters have been getting better.

The Phillies (16-15, 2nd) are presently playing the final game of their home stand with the Dodgers (23-12, 1st National League West). The Phillies’ starter is their ace Cole Hamels (1-2, 6.17), who is coming off his win against the Braves on May 8, where he went six innings, giving up only two runs on three hits and two walks, while he struck out seven, in the Phils’ 10-6 win. He is trying to even his record, while going out to produce his second straight quality start without a freak injury. The Dodgers will counter with Chad Billingsley (5-1, 2.45), who is coming off a lost against the Giants on May 8, where he went seven inning, giving up three runs on eight hits and four walks, while striking out five, in the Dodgers’ 3-1 lost. He will be trying for his sixth win of the season. The Phils will be trying to win the series with the Dodgers so that they can leave Citizens Bank Park with a split in their six-games home stand, before they go off to Washington, D.C. for four games with the Nationals.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spring is almost here. Spring Training, that is….

The Phillies will officially begin their defense of their World Series title tomorrow, as pitchers and catchers will officially report at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla. Although the team is, for the most part, already set, there will still be some battles for spots on the team. Among them will be, who will be the fifth starter and who will be taking up residence in the bullpen between J.A. Happ, Kyle Kendrick, Chan Ho Park, and prospect Carlos Carrasco; who will be playing back-up to Carlos Ruiz behind the plate, Chris Coste or Ronny Paulino; and lastly, who will be playing second base, if Chase Utley is not ready by opening day, April 5, Eric Bruntlett or prospect/rookie Jason Donald, or someone else. Other questions to be answered will include: will Raul Ibanez be the improvement to the departed fan favorite Pat Burrell that everyone keep saying that he is; will the Phillies be able to get lefty Will Ohman to replace J.C. Romero during his 50 games suspension, or will they be able to find someone in-house; will they be able to get Nomar Garciaparra to sign on the dotted line to become their right-handed bat off the bench to compliment left-hander Greg Dobbs, or will they be able to do it with left-handers Matt Stairs and Geoff Jenkins; will the afformentioned Utley actually be ready to start at second base on opening day, or will the Phils tell him to give his right hip the rest that they think it will need for him to be fully ready; will Pedro Feliz’s back be ready to let him play during the spring; will the Phils be able to get somebody to take Adam Eaton off their hands, or will they just let him go; and lastly, will anyone among the invitees be able to get a job with the main team, or will they be spending the season in the minors or with another MLB team.

Those are the questions. They should all be answered by the time the Phillies will start their title defense at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday night, April 5, against the Atlanta Braves.

Me, I can’t wait to find out the answers. :)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 6: The magic number into the playoffs is now one as the Phillies defeat the Braves, 6-2.

Behind Pat Burrell’s three-run shot in the bottom of the eighth inning and the solid pitching of rookie J.A. Happ and the bullpen, the Phillies have defeated the Braves, 6-2, cutting their magic number to get into the post-season down to one and to win the National League East down to four. Their lead in the East has increased to two and a half games as the Mets are unable to stop the Cubs. The Phillies took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as Chase Utley, with a runner on second and no one out, would hit a RBI double, knocking in Jimmy Rollins who has earlier doubled. The RBI would be the 100th of the season for Utley, the only Phil, other than Ryan Howard, to knock in so many runs. The Phillies would increase their lead to 2-0 in the second, as, with a runner on third and one out, Carlos Ruiz would hit into a ground out, second to first, scoring Shane Victorino, who has earlier singled, would move up to second on Pedro Feliz’s ground out, 6-3, and would go to third on Braves’ starter Jair Jurrjens’ wild pitch. The score would remain 2-0 for the next three innings as a pitchers’ duel developed between Jurrjens, who was able to slow down the Phillies’ offernse after the second inning and Phils’ starter  J.A. Happ, who would be almost unhitable to the Braves’ offense, who would only be able to get two hits and a walk off of him through the first five innings. Sadly, that would come to an end in the sixth, as, with a runner on first and one man out, Kelly Johnson, would tie up the ballgame at 2-2 as he would slug an 0-1 slider, that was high in the strike zone, into the right field seats, scoring Matin Prado, who has earlier walked. One inning later, the Braves would threaten to take the lead, as with one out, Brent Lillibridge would get on base with a single to left. Jurrjens would then move him over to second with a sacrifice bunt, for the inning’s second out. Charlie Manuel would then come out of the dugout and take out Happ and replace him with Rudy Seanez, to face pinch hitter Greg Norton, who was pinch hitting for the originally announced pinch hitter, Yunel Escobar, who in turned was to pinch hit for Josh Anderson. Seanez would proceed to intentionally walk Norton, putting runners on first and second. Seanez would then get the next batter, Prado, to hit into a force out, 6-4, putting out Norton at second, for the final out of the inning. The Braves would then try again in the eighth, as Johnson would lead off the inning with a double, and then would go to third on Victorino’s fielding error. Seanez would then get Omar Infante to line out to Rollins for the inning’s first out. The next batter, Jeff Francoeur, would then hit a fielder’s choice ground ball to Rollins, who would quickly throw home, cutting down Johnson, as Ruiz blocks the plate and tags him out, for the second out of the inning, while Francoeur would be safe on first. After Manuel takes out Seanez and replaces him with Scott Eyre, Eyre would get Casey Kotchman to fly out to left for the inning’s final out. The Phillies would then retake the lead in their half of the eighth, as pinch hitter Greg Dobbs would get a pinch single off of Braves’ reliever Jeff Bennett. After Dobbs is replaced at first base by pinch runner Greg Golson, the Braves would try to pick Golson off at first. It didn’t work as Bennett would commit a throwing error, as the ball would get past Braves’ first baseman Kotchman, which would allow Golson to go from first to third. After Rollins would ground out for the inning’s first out, Utley would be intentionally walked, bringing up Jayson Werth. Werth would hit a sharp grounder to Braves’ third baseman Prado, who would then throw home in an attempt to cut down Golson. It wouldn’t work, as Golson was off on the crack of the bat, beating Braves’ catcher Clint Sammons’ tag, and scoring the go ahead run as the Phillies took a 3-2 lead, while Utley would go on to second and Werth would reach first on the fielder’s choice. Bobby Cox would then come to the mound and replace Bennett with Will Ohman. After Howard flies out for the second out of the inning, Ohman would be replaced by Julian Tavarez to pitch to Pat Burrell. With the count going to 3-1, Burrell would hit a Tavarez’s fastball into the left field seats for a three-run home run, his thirty-third home run of the year, scoring both Utley and Werth, and giving the Phillies a 6-2 lead. After Victorino follows with a triple, Tavarez would finally end the inning by getting Feliz to fly out to left. The Phillies would then hand the ball over to Ryan Madson. After Madson gets pinch hitter Ruben Gotay to fly out for the inning’s first out, he would give up a pinch single to pinch hitter Chipper Jones. Pinch hitter Brian McCann would then follow him with a deep fly ball to left that would go out of the park, but would be declared a double by the third base umpire Chad Fairchild who would claim that the ball has landed under the yellow line, making it a double and not a home run. A later umpires’ conference would uphold Fairchild’s call, as does instant reply, thus leaving the Braves with runners on second and third with one out and not a two-run homer for McCann. Madson would then buckle down and get Gregor Blanco to fly out to left for the second out of the inning, and then get Prado to ground out, 4-3, to end the game and preserve the win.

J.A. Happ would get a no-decision as he pitches a strong six and two-thirds innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, striking out five while walking only two. Rudy Seanez would pitch a scoreless inning of relief, giving up only one hit and walking a batter. Scott Eyre would get the win as he pitches a third of an inning, giving up no runs and no hits. His record is now 5-0 (3-0 with the Phils) with an ERA of 4.30. Ryan Madson would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up only two hits. Jair Jurrjens would also get a no-decision as he pitches seven innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits and a walk. Jeff Bennett would get the lost as he pitches a third of an inning, giving up three earned runs on a hit and a walk. His record is now 3-7 with an ERA of 3.86. Will Ohman would also pitch a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Julian Tavarez would also go a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits.  

The Phillies would score two early runs, which J.A. Happ would hold onto brillantly until he gives up the two-run home run to Kelly Johnson in the sixth. The Phillies offense would then go back to work in the bottom of the eighth, scoring four unanswered runs, with the big blow being Pat Burrell’s three-run shot. The go ahead run that Greg Golson would score on the crack of the bat, would be his first run scored in a major league game. The bullpen would then come in and pitch two and a third innings of shut out ball, although Madson almost gave up a two-run home run to pinch hitter Brian McCann, except that the ball would drop into the seats below the yellow line under the railing in left, as confirmed later by instant replay. The Phillies are now on a roll, having won ten of their last eleven games, as they reached a season high twenty-one games over .500, the highest since their pennant winning year of 1993. The Phillies are now one game away from 90 wins, and need just one more game to guarantee a return to the playoffs.

The Phillies (89-68) will continue their series with the fourth place Braves (69-86) with a game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (14-9, 3.10), who is coming off a win against the Braves on September 18, as he went six innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 4-3 win. Hamel will be trying for his fifteenth win of the year while trying to secure the playoff spot for the Phillies with a good outing tonight. The Braves’ starter will be Mike Hampton (2-3, 5.05), who is coming off a lost to the Phillies on September 18, as he would go seven innings, giving up four runs, only two of which were earned, in the Braves’ 4-3 lost. This is his third start against the Phillies, sporting an 0-1 record, with a no-decision. He will be trying to hold off the Phillies running into the playoff for one more night.

The Phillies are now leading the Mets by two and a half games, thanks to the Mets lost to the Cubs. The magic number to win the National League East is now at four. In the Wild Card chase, the Mets’ lead over the Brewers is now at a game, as the Brewers were idle last night, while it is at three and a half games over Houston, who were also idle last night. The Phillies will be trying to win tonight’s game to guarantee a spot in the playoffs, while trying to see if they can get Cole Hamels his fifteenth win of the season.

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.

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