In spite of an hour plus long rain delay, the Phils’ bullpen pitched brillantly to help the Phils’ defeat the Braves, 4-2. Their magic number over both the Braves and the Marlins have now dropped to six.
The Braves took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Matt Diaz hits an RBI single, scoring Martin Prado, who had earlier doubled. The Phils would tie the game up at one-all in the third as, with a runner on first, and with two men out, Ben Francisco, who was in the game after Shane Victorino had been ejected for arguing a call by the second base umpire when he was thrown out trying to steal second, hits an RBI double, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier walked, and had been attempting to steal second. The Phils took the lead in the fourth as, with a runner on second and with one man out, Raul Ibanez hits an RBI double, knocking in Jayson Werth, who had earlier walked, and then stole second, giving the Phils a 2-1 lead. One batter later, Pedro Feliz knocked in Ibanez with an RBI single, making it a 3-1 Phils’ lead. In the fourth, the Phils would increase their lead as, with one man on, and with one man out, Chase Utley hits an RBI triple, knocking in Rollins, who had earlier doubled, and had gone to third on Francisco’s ground out off of the pitcher’s leg, 1-4-3, making it a 4-1 Phils’ lead. Then the game was stopped as the rain that had been falling all weekend in Atlanta had finally started to come down hard enough to have the tarp put on the field. The rain would stop almost two hours later, leading to the exit of both team’s starters, especially Phils’ starter Cliff Lee, who had been five hitting the Braves, keeping them off-balance since giving up the run in the first. The Phils’ bullpen then took over, shutting down the Braves for the next four innings, giving up no runs and only one hit and a walk before handing the ball over to Brad Lidge in the ninth. After taking care of the first two batters, Lidge gave up a walk to Brooks Conrad. After Conrad took second base on defensive indifference, pinch hitter Brian McCann knocked him in with an RBI single, making it a 4-2 Phils’ lead. But that would be it, as Lidge would then nailed down his thirty-first save of the year by striking out Nate McLouth.
Cliff Lee received a no-decision thanks to the rain delay, as he pitched four innings, giving up just one run on five hits, while striking out two. Tyler Walker picked up the win as he pitched two scoreless innings, giving up only one hit and a walk, while striking out three. His record is now 2-0 with an ERA of 2.35. Sergio Escalona received his first hold as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, striking out a batter. Clay Condrey pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face, collecting his seventh hold. Ryan Madson got his twenty-fifth hold as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out all three. Brad Lidge would record his thirty-first save of the season as he gave up a run on a hit and a walk, as he struck out two. Tommy Hanson took the lost as he pitched five innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and four walks, while he struck out seven. His record is now 10-4 with a 2.85 ERA. Kris Medlen, Boone Logan and Eric O’Flaherty combined for four shut out innings, giving up just three hits (one hit each) and a walk (Logan), while striking out two (O’Flaherty).
The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Pedro Feliz leading the way with two hits, knocking in a run, as he raised his batting average to .264. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Ben Francisco, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, Paul Bako and pinch hitter John Mayberry, Jr., had the other eight Phils’ hits, with Rollins, Francisco, Ibanez, Howard and Mayberry’s hits all being doubles. Besides Pedro, Utley, Francisco and Ibanez had the Phils’ other three RBIs. With the win, the Phils have won ten of their last thirteen games since being swept by the Astros.
The Phils (87-61, 1st) have the day off today, with their next game being tomorrow afternoon as the first past of a twi-night doubleheader with the Marlins at Land Shark Stadium. The magic number to winning their third straight NL Eastern Division pennant is now at six.