The Phils’ magic number to win their fifth straight Eastern Division title is now down to two games as they sweep the Marlins on Ryan Howard’s walk-off double in the bottom of the tenth of the nightcap, as they defeat the fish, 2-1.
The Phils took the lead in the sixth as John Mayberry, Jr. hits a lead-off home run, his fourteenth home run of the season, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. That seems to be enough for Cliff Lee, as he held down the Marlins for eight and two-thirds innings, giving up just four hits up to that point, while striking out twelve batters, and had an 0-2 count on Jose Lopez, when Lopez hit Lee’s next pitch, a cutter, into the left field seats, for his eighth home run of the season, tying the game up at one-all. Lee then ended the inning by getting Omar Infante to ground out, 4-3, for the inning’s final out. After the Phils went down 1-2-3 in the ninth, and then Michael Schwimer came in and pitched a 1-2-3 top of the tenth, Burke Badenhop came in to pitched the bottom of the tenth for the Marlins. Michael Martinez, the first man to face him, walked on four pitches. The next batter, pinch hitter Ryan Howard, worked the count to 3-1, before hitting a sinker into left center field for a double, which would score Martinez, giving the Phils a 2-1 walk-off win.
Cliff Lee received a no-decision as he pitched nine inning, giving up a run on five hits, while striking out twelve. Michael Schwimer (1-0, 3.24) got the win, his first in the majors, as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two. Alex Sanabia also received a no-decision as he went six innings, giving up a run on six hits, as he struck out five. Steve Cishek and Edward Mujica combined for three scoreless innings, giving up a hit (Mujica), while striking five (Cishek (1), Mujica (4)) between them. Burke Badenhop (2-2, 4.01) took the lost as he pitched to just two batters, getting neither of them out, as he gave up a run on a hit and a walk.
The Phils had eight hits in the ballgame, with John Mayberry, Jr. (Single, Home Run, RBI) and Ross Gload (Singles) both leading the team with two hits each. Chase Utley (Single), Hunter Pence (Double), Cliff Lee (Single) and pinch hitter Ryan Howard (Double, RBI), had the other four Phils’ hits.
The Phils (97-51, 1st East) will now start a four-games series with the Cardinals (81-68, 2nd Central), starting with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park, and will start at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Vance Worley (11-2, 2.92), who is coming off a lost to the Brewers on September 11, as he pitched six and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out seven, in the Phils’ 3-2 lost. He will be going for win number twelve, while trying to get the Phils one step closer to winning their fifth straight Eastern Division title. The Cardinals will counter with Jaime Garcia (12-7, 3.68), who is coming off a win against the Braves on September 10, as he went six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits, while striking out four, in the Cardinals’ 4-3 win. He will be trying to keep the Cardinals’ playoff hopes alive. The Phils will be trying to shorten their magic number in the East to at least one game.