The Phillies finally get past the eighth inning as J.C. Romero comes in and squashed a Cubs’ rally with three strikeouts, while Myers would pitch another seven strong innings as the Phillies defeated the Cubs, 5-2. The Cubs would score the game’s first run, as, with two men on and one out, Geovany Soto would hit a RBI single, scoring Mark DeRosa, who has earlier singled and then went to second on Kosuke Fukudome’s single, to give the Cubs a quick 1-0 lead, while sending Fukudome to third. Phillies’ starter Brett Myers would then get out of the inning by striking out Cubs’ starter Ted Lilly and then getting Alfonso Soriano to fly out. The game would then become a pitchers’ duel in the third and fourth innings, with Lilly breezing through the Phillies’ line-up, while Myers would get out of trouble in both the third (two on, one out-double play) and the fourth (two on, two out-ground out). Then in the top of the fifth, Jayson Werth, with one swing of the bat, would tie the ballgame with a solo home run, his nineteenth home run of the year. Then in the sixth, after the Phillies have loaded up the bases via two singles (Chase Utley and Ryan Howard) and a hit batter (Shane Victorino), with two men out, Werth would give the Phillies a 3-1 lead with a two-run single, scoring Utley, who has gone to third on Ryan’s single, and Howard, who has gone to second when Victorino was hit by the pitch, with a slide that would keep him from being tagged by Cubs’ catcher Soto. In the eighth, the Phillies would increase their lead as Howard hit a solo home run to deep center field, for his thirty-seventh home run of the year, making it 4-1 Phillies. Two batters later, Werth would hit his second solo home run of the game, his twentieth home run of the year, to give the Phillies a 5-1 lead. Which was a good thing, as the Cubs would try to come back in their half of the inning. Ryan Theriot, Derrick Lee and Aramis Ramirez would each single, with Ramirez scoring Theriot, who has gone to third on Lee’s single, making it a 5-2 Phillies’ lead, while sending Lee to second. That would be it for Myers, as Charlie Manuel would come out of the dugout and replace Myers with J.C. Romero. With two men on and no one out, Romero would proceed to strike out first pinch hitter Reed Johnson, and then pinch hitter Ronny Cedeno, using their youthful aggressiveness against them as they would both strike out swinging. The next batter, Fukudome, would then get a four-pitch walk to load up the bases. After being calmed down by Rich Dubee, since he didn’t get a called strike on what would be ball number three, Romero would then bear down and strike out Soto looking to finally end the inning. Romero would then leave the mound, all enthusiastic. Hey, Charlie, I think you’d just found your eighth inning bridge to Brad Lidge. Speaking of Lidge, he would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth, recording his thirty-second save of the year.
Brett Myers would get the win as he pitches another seven strong innings, plus three batters, as he gives up only two earned runs on eleven hits, while striking out eight. His record is now 8-10, 5-1 since coming back from the minors, with a 4.40 ERA. J.C. Romero would pitch a scoreless inning, striking out three and walking one batter. Brad Lidge would also pitch a scoreless inning, as he records his thirty-second save in thirty-two tries, as he struck out two. Ted Lilly would take the lost as he goes six and two-thirds innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits. His record is now 13-8 with an ERA of 4.23. Neal Cotts would pitch an inning and a third, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Bob Howry would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up two hits.
The Phillies’ bullpen would finally get past the eighth inning as J.C. Romero would come into the game, and strike out three of the four batters that he would face, getting two of them out by having the hitters swinging at strike three while the third batter would stand at the plate for a called third strike, and showing some enthusiasm after doing it. Myers would pitch himself out of trouble in the first four innings before getting three straight 1-2-3 innings, as he gives up only singles to the Cubbies. Meanwhile, the offense would get another ten hits, although they would not be as evenly spread out as they have been earlier in the week. Jayson Werth would lead the attack, going three for four, with two home runs and a single, knocking in four of the Phillies’ runs. Jimmy Rollins would follow with four hits, three singles and a double, along with a stolen base. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard would both follow with two hits apiece, three singles and a home run (for Howard), as they would score the other three Phillies’ run (Utley (1), Howard (2)). Now if they can just leave Chicago Sunday with a series split.
The Phillies (74-62) will conclude their four games series with the Cubs (85-51, 1st National League Central) this afternoon. The game will be played at Wrigley Field and will begin at 2:20 pm Eastern (1:20 pm Central). The Phillies will send to the mound the veteran pitcher Jamie Moyer (11-7, 3.81), who is coming off a recent bad outing against the Mets on August 26, as he is only able to go three innings, as he gets creamed for six earned runs on nine hits, in the Phillies’ dramatic 8-7 win. He will be trying for his fifteenth good start in his last sixteen starts while trying for his twelfth win of the year. The Cubs’ stater will be Carlos Zambrano (13-5, 3.53), who is coming off a no-decision against the Pirates on August 26, as he would pitch only four and a third innings, giving up six earned runs on eight hits, in the Cubs’ 14-9 win. He will be trying to get his fourteenth win while trying to stop the Phillies’ offense.
The Phillies are now trailing the Mets by a game while they are five games ahead of the Marlins, as the fish defeated the Mets last night. The Phillies will be trying to leave Chicago with a series split while hoping that they will be heading to Washington to meet the Nationals, tied for first place.