The Phillies’ offense would knock out of the box not one, but two Dodgers’ pitchers, as they would score nine runs, while Cole Hamels would pitch his second straight pitching gem in front of a national audience, as the Phillies defeated the Dodgers, 9-2. After Hamels put down the Dodgers 1-2-3 in the first, the Phillies would take a quick 3-0 lead in their half of the inning as Pat Burrell would hit a three-run home run off of Dodgers’ starter, Clayton Kershaw, his thirtieth home run of the year, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who has been hit by the pitch, and Chase Utley, who has gotten on base with a single. The Dodgers would cut the lead down to 3-2 in the third when Russell Martin would hit a two-run home run, his twelfth home run of the year, scoring James Loney, who has earlier doubled. The Phillies would add to their lead in the fifth inning. Rollins would start the inning off with a single. Utley would follow with a walk, sending Rollins to second. Burrell would then hit a fly ball to center that should have been the inning’s first out. Instead, it would end up being a double as center fielder Matt Kemp would somehow lose sight of the ball, which would then drop in behind him for a hit. Rollins would score to make it 4-2 Phillies, while Utley would go on to third base. Ryan Howard would then follow with a two-run double of his own, scoring both Utley and Burrell, to give the Phillies a 6-2 lead, and knocking out Kershaw, who would be replaced by Jason Johnson, who would finally end the Phillies’ threat. The Phillies would then break the game open in the sixth, as Hamels would start the inning off by being hit by the pitch. After a Rollins’ ground out, second to first, sends Hamels over to second, Utley would send him home with a RBI single, making it 7-1 Phillies. Burrell would follow with a single, sending Utley to second. Burrell’s hit would knock out Johnson, who would be replaced on the mound with Joe Beimel. Howard would greet him with a walk, loading up the bases. Victorino would then follow him with a two-run single, scoring both Utley and Burrell and sending Howard to third, giving the Phils a 9-2 lead. Beimel would finally end the inning by striking out both Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz. That would be how the ball game would end as Hamels, Scott Eyre and Rudy Seanez would together put down the last nine Dodgers’ batters with ease.
Cole Hamels would get the win as he pitched his second straight gem in front of a national audience, as he pitches seven strong innings, giving up only two earned runs on five hits, while striking out five. His record is now 11-8 as his ERA drops to 3.20. Scott Eyre and Rudy Seanez would each pitch a scoreless inning, with neither man giving up a hit. Clayton Kershaw would get the lost, as he lasts only four innings plus four batters, giving up six earned runs on seven hits while striking out five and hitting a batter. His record is now 2-4 with a 4.11 ERA. Jason Johnson would pitch an inning and a third in relief, giving up three earned runs on two hits and also hitting a batter. Joe Beimel would pitch one and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief, giving up a hit. Ramon Troncoso would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits.
For the second straight game, the Phillies’ offense would score more than three runs in a game, while also getting ten hits for their second straight game. And they would also knock out an opposing starter for their second straight game, as well as a reliver for good measure, in their nine runs eruption. Every starter would get at least a hit, except for Chris Coste, who took the collar. Pat Burrell would lead the attack with three hits, while also driving in five runs, tying his career high, followed by Chase Utley with two. And they did it in part via situational hitting and smart baserunning. Although it would appear that the offense is back, I won’t believe it is until I see what they do against the Mets this coming week.
The Phillies (70-59) will continue their four games series with the Dodgers (65-64, 2nd National League West) tomorrow night, with their second straight nationally televised game, this time to be shown on ESPN. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 8:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (6-12 (1-0), 4.87), who is coming off his second straight so-so outing, this one against the Nationals on August 19, as he would go five innings, giving up four earned runs on four hits, in the Phillies’ 5-4 win. He has pitched against the Dodgers the previous week, on August 13, in his previous so-so outing, only going five innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits while striking out six, in the Phillies’ 7-6 lost. He will be trying to get back to the way he was pitching before his two starts slide, while hoping that the offense will continue its present attack. The Dodgers will be sending to the mound Hiroki Kuroda (7-9, 3.97), who is coming off a lost to the Rockies on August 19, where he went six innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits, in the Dodgers’ 8-3 lost. He has faced the Phillies once already this year, a victory on August 14, where he went seven innings, giving up only one earned run on two hits, in the Dodgers’ 3-1 win. He will be trying to stop the Phillies’ offense while trying to improve his record.
The Phillies are once again trailing the Mets by a game and a half, as the Mets have lost to the Astros. They are ahead of the Marlins by four and a half games, as the D-backs beat the fish. The Phillies will try to see if they can sweep the Dodgers in front of a national audience while hoping to get even closer to the Mets before their two games series next week.