The Phils come back in their half of the ninth to take a 4-3 lead, only to watch it disappear in the bottom of the ninth as Brad Lidge commits his league leading ninth blown save of the year as the Phils lose to lowly Pirates, 6-4. Their lead in the NL East remains at seven games as the Braves lost, while the Marlins win.
The Phils took a quick 1-0 lead as Jimmy Rollins lead-off the game by hitting the first pitch into right center field for a lead-off home run, his sixteenth home run of the year. The Pirates would tie it up at one-all in the second as Ryan Doumit hits a lead-off home run of his own, his eighth home run of the season. The Phils regain the lead in the third as, Rollins hits his second lead-off home run of the night, also off the first pitch, his seventeenth home run of the season, giving the Phils a 2-1 lead. In the sixth, the Pirates took the lead as, with a runner on base, and with two men out, Steve Pearce hits a two-run home run, knocking in Doumit, who had earlier walked, giving the Pirates a 3-2 lead. In the ninth, the Phils would tie the game up at three-all as, with one man on, and with one out, pinch hitter Ben Francisco hits an RBI double, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier doubled. Two batters later, with a runner on second, and now with two men out, Shane Victorino hits an RBI triple, scoring Francisco, and giving the Phils a 4-3 lead. In the bottom of the ninth, the Phils gave the ball to their closer Brad Lidge, who was pitching for the fourth straight game, to end the game. Sadly, that did not happen. Luis Cruz started the inning off with a single. Cruz would then move up to second on a wild pitch. Pinch runner Brian Bixler then replaces Cruz at second base. Pinch hitter Brandon Moss then hits an RBI single to right, that Jayson Werth at first had a problem handling, before he threw it to the plate, too late to get Bixler, who, at one point, had a late start, before scoring the tying run, making it a four-four ballgame, as Lidge blew his ninth save of the season. On the play, Moss would move up to second base on Werth’s error. Andrew McCutchen then came to the plate, before he hit a 1-0 pitch into the center field seats, his eighth home run of the season, as he gave the Pirates the 6-4 walk-off win, as he scored Moss before him.
Joe Blanton received a no-decision as he had another quality start, as he gave up three runs on six hits and two walks, while he struck out seven, in six innings of work. Tyler Walker pitched two scoreless innings, giving up just two walks, as he struck out two. Brad Lidge took the lost as he blew his ninth save of the season, as he faced three batters, getting none of them out, as he gave up three runs on three hits and a wild pitch. His record is now 0-6 with an ERA of 7.33. Ross Ohlendorf also received a no-decision, as he pitched six and a third innings, giving up two runs on five hits and three walks, as he struck out six. Joel Hanrahan converted his eighth hold as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, striking out a batter. Phil Dumatrait recorded his first hold, as he also pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit. Jesse Chavez pitched a third of an inning as he recorded his eleventh hold, striking out a batter. Matt Chapps blew his fourth save of the year before getting the win as he pitched an inning, giving up two runs on three hits. His record is now 3-7 with an ERA of 6.38.
The Phils had nine hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley leading the team with two hits each, with both of Rollins’ hits being solo home runs and one of Utley’s being a double. Shane Victorino, Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz, Eric Bruntlett and Ben Francisco had the Phils’ other five hits, with Victorino’s hits being a triple, knocking in a run, while Howard, Ruiz, Bruntlett and Francisco’s hits were all doubles, with Francisco knocking in a run. All but one of the Phils hits last night were for extra-bases, although the Phils did not get a key hit until the top of ninth, when they got two doubles and a triple to knock in what was thought to be the winning run, until Brad Lidge came in and lost the ballgame on six pitches. Charlie, Charlie, Charlie, when are you going to pull the trigger on Lidge? Yes, he helped the team win the World Series last season, but he is a disaster this year, and he could become a major detriment to the team’s chances of going deep into the playoffs this season, if something isn’t done.
The Phillies (72-51, 1st National League East) continue their three-games series with the Pirates (52-71, 6th National League Central) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at PNC Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils starter will be Cole Hamels (7-8, 4.78), who is coming off a lost against the Mets on August 21, where he went only five innings, giving up four runs on ten hits, while striking out six, in the Phils’ 4-2 lost. The Phils are hoping that he can come around against the Bucos. The Pirates will counter with Paul Maholm (7-7, 4.74), who is coming off a win against the Brewers on August 19, where he went seven and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on eight hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Pirates’ 3-1 win. He will be trying to improve his overall record. The Phillies plan to put what happened to them last night behind them, while hoping that Hamels can regain his stuff while pitching against the Pirates.