Brett Myers would pitch seven strong scoreless innings before being lifted in the eighth inning, while Utley would hit his first home run since July 7, as the Phillies defeated the luckless Nationals, 2-1. In the third, Utley would knock in the only Phillies’ runs of the game as he would hit his twenty-sixth home run of the year, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. They would turn out to be the only runs that the Phillies would need as Myers dominated the Nationals for seven scoreless innings, giving up only three hits in those seven innings, although he would hit two batters, both of whom would later be wiped out by double plays. Then in the eighth, the Nationals would score their first run in twenty-six innings, since Friday night. The inning would start with Paul Lo Duca getting on base with a single. Felipe Lopez would follow by hitting a sharp grounder to Utley, a double play ball that Utley would be unable to catch, committing an error, putting runners on first and second. Charlie Manuel would then come out and replace Myers with J.C. Romero. He would then get the first out as pinch hitter Ryan Langerhans move over both pinch runner Cristian Guzman, running for Lo Duca, and Lopez, to third and second, although Langerhans almost beat the throw to Utley at first. Willie Harris would then hit a RBI ground out, third to first, scoring Guzman, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 2-1, while Lopez would move over to third base on the throw. Romero would then be replaced by Chad Durbin, who would get Ronnie Belliard to ground out, second to first, for the final out of the inning. That would turn out to be the final score as Brad Lidge would come in to pitch the ninth and record his twenty-fifth save in twenty-five tries with a 1-2-3 inning.
Brett Myers would get the win, his first since May 30, by pitching a surprisingly strong seven innings plus two batters, giving up only an unearned run on four hits, with two hit batters, a walk and two strikeouts. His record is now 4-9 with a 5.46 ERA. J.C. Romero would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Chad Durbin would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Brad Lidge would record his twenty-fifth save of the year as he pitched a scoreless 1-2-3 inning. Collin Balester would get the lost as he gives up two earned runs on six hits, while striking out five. His record is now 1-3 with an ERA of 5.13. Garrett Mock, would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Charlie Manning and Joel Hanrahan would each pitch a scoreless inning, with both giving up a hit.
Brett Myers has done what very few people, including myself, were expecting him to do after coming back from his minor league stint, put together several scoreless innings, never mnd seven innings, as he used his pitches effectively, especially his fast ball. Of course, he did it against the woeful Nationals, who had not scored a run since last Friday. The next question is will he be able to continue his sudden effectiveness against his next opponent? We’ll find out in five-six days. Maybe having J.A. Happ now waiting in the wings have gotten Myers to put his head on straight. Maybe, maybe not. As I’d said, we’ll know soon.
The Phillies (57-49) three games series with the last place Nationals (38-68) continues tomorrow night at Nationals Park. The game will began at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Jamie Moyer (9-6, 3.76), who is coming off a no-decision against the Mets on July 24, as he pitched his ninth straight quality start, going seven inning, giving up only one earned runs on two hits, in the Phillies’ 2-1 lost. He will be trying once again for his tenth victory of the year while trying for his tenth straight quality start. Moyer has met the Nationals already twice this year, with a 1-0 record and a no-decision that the Phillies would win in extra-innings, as he would pitch nine and two-thirds innings, giving up six runs, three of which were earned, on sixteen hits. The Nationals will send to the mound Tim Redding (7-5, 3.98), who is coming off a lost against the Giants on July 24, where he went eight innings, giving up an earned run on seven hits, in the Nationals’ 1-0 lost. He has faced the Phillies already twice this year, with a 2-0 record, as he has kept the Phils scoreless in thirteen and a third innings on eight hits. He will be aiming for his third win against the Phillies, trying to keep them scoreless.
The Phillies still trail the Mets by half a games as they have defedted the Marlins. They now lead the Marlins by a game. The Braves are now seven and a half games behind the Phillies, as they’d lost to the Cardinals. The Phillies will be trying for their fourth straight win and their second straight series win of the second half, while trying to light up Tim Redding for the first time this year.