Tagged: Alberto Gonzalez

Phils hang on last night to defeat the Nationals, 6-5. Lead in the East stays at six games.

The Phils continue the adventure that is the 2009 season, as Ryan Madson complete his second straight save opportunity by getting Adam Dunn to hit into a 4-6 line out double play with a runner on second and one man out, as the Phils finally defeat the pesty Nats, 6-5. Their lead over the Marlins remain at six games while their magic number drop down to nineteen.

The Nats took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as, with a runner on second, and with one man out, Adam Dunn hits an RBI single, knocking in Cristian Guzman, who had earlier doubled. The Phils would strike back in the second, as, with a runner on second, and with nobody out, Jayson Werth hits an RBI single, knocking in Raul Ibanez, who had earlier doubled, tying the score at one-all. The Phils would then take the lead as, with the bases loaded, via a Pedro Feliz single, moving Werth up to second base, and then a walk to Paul Bako, moving Werth to third and Feliz to second, and still with no one out, Cliff Lee helped his own cause by hitting an RBI single, easily scoring Werth, and giving the Phils a 2-1 lead, while sending Feliz up to third, and Bako to second. The Phils would then make it 3-1, as with the bases still loaded, and with still no outs, Jimmy Rollins hits into an RBI ground out, 4-3, making the inning’s first out as he scores Feliz, while moving Bako to third, and sending Lee to second. The Phils made it a 4-1 lead in the fifth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Ibanez hits an RBI double, knocking in Ryan Howard, who had just walked. The Nats would get that run back in their half of the fifth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Guzman hits an RBI ground out on a slow roller to Lee, 1-3, scoring Alberto Gonzalez from third, who had earlier doubled, and had gone to third on Justin Maxwell’s single, making it a 4-2 Phils’ lead, while moving Maxwell up to second base. Dunn would make the score 4-3 as he hits an RBI single, scoring Maxwell, who just beat Werth’s throw to the plate, while Dunn would move up to third on the throw. The Nats tied the game up at four-all in the seventh as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Guzman hits into a force out, 6-4, on a ball misplayed by Rollins, allowing Gonzalez, who had earlier doubled, and had gone to third on pinch hitter Jorge Padilla’s single, wiping out Padilla at second, to score, as Guzman beat out the throw to first. The Phils regained the lead in the eighth as Jayson Werth hits a lead-off home run, his thirty-third home run of the season, giving the Phils a 5-4 lead. The next batter, Feliz, followed with a home run of his own, his tenth home run of the year, making it a 6-4 Phils’ lead. The Nats got a run back in their half of the eighth as, with the bases loaded, with Ryan Zimmerman reaching base on a catch error by Howard, a double by Josh Willingham, sending Zimmerman to third base, and a walk to Elijah Dukes, and with one man out, pinch hitter Pete Orr hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Zimmerman from third, making it a 6-5 Phils’ lead. That would end up being the final score, as Ryan Madson converted his sixth save of the season, by getting Dunn to hit into a line out double play, 4-6, as Justin Maxwell, is doubled off second base.

Cliff Lee got the win as he went seven innings plus two batters, giving up five runs, four of which were earned, on ten hits, as he struck out four. His record is now 13-11 (6-2) with an ERA of 3.13. Chan Ho Park converted his tenth hold as he pitched an inning, giving up just a walk. Ryan Madson collected his sixth save, as he also pitched an inning, giving up a hit, as he struck out a batter. Garrett Mock received a no-decision as he pitched five innings, giving up four runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out four. Jason Bergmann pitched one and a third scoreless innings, giving up just a hit and a walk. Sean Burnett pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a walk, while striking out a batter. Tyler Clippard took the lost, as he gave up two runs on two hits, while striking out a batter. His record is now 2-2 with a 3.16 ERA. Mike MacDougal pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits, as he struck out two batters.

The Phillies had eleven hits in the game, with Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez, Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz each leading the team with two hits, with one of Victorino’s hits and one of Ibanez’s hits being for doubles, while Werth and Feliz both hit solo home runs, as Werth knocked in two runs, and Feliz and Ibanez each knocking in a run. Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Cliff Lee had the other three Phils’ hits, with Lee’s hit knocking in a run, while Rollins knocked in the other Phils’ run with a ground out.

The Phils (79-58, 1st) will play their final game of the road trip with the Nationals (47-92, 5th) tonight with a night game. The game will be played at Nationals Park and it will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (9-6, 3.80),  who is coming off a no-decision against the Astros on September 5, where he pitched six strong innings, giving up just three runs on six hits and a walk, while he struck out five, in the Phils’ 4-3 lost. He will be trying once again for his tenth win of the season. The Nats will counter with Livan Hernandez (7-10, 5.44), who is coming off a lost against the Marlins on September 5, as he went five innings, giving up six runs on eight hits and four walks, while striking out six, in the Nats’ 5-4 lost. He will be trying to keep the Nats from being once again swept by the Phils. The Phils will be going for a sweep before coming home for seven games with the Mets and the Nats, as they hope to keep the Marlins at bay in the pennant race.

Ryan Howard’s two-homer night help rocket the Phils into a 9-6 victory over the Nats, back into first place in the NL East.

Ryan Howard’s two massive home runs, a solo shot and a team record setting grand-slam home run, help leads the Phils to a 9-6 win over the lowly Nationals. The Phils, meanwhile, regain first place from the Mets.

The Nationals took the lead in the second as, with two men on, and one man out, Wil Nieves hits a two run double, knocking in Josh Willingham, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second on Alberto Gonzalez’s single, and Gonzalez, who had just singled, giving the Nats a 2-0 lead. Two batters later, with Nieves still on second, and now with two men out, Anderson Hernandez hits an RBI single, knocking in Nieves, who beat the throw to the plate, giving the Nats a 3-0 lead, while Hernandez would move up to second on the throw. The Phils would get a run back in their half of the second as Ryan Howard hits a lead-off home run, his thirteenth home run of the year, cutting the Nats’ lead to 3-1. In the third, with a runner on second, and one man out, Jimmy Rollins hits an RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier walked, and had moved up to second on Cole Hamels’ sacrifice bunt, making it a 3-2 Nats’ lead. After Rollins stole second base, the Phils loaded the bases on a Shane Victorino walk and a Chase Utley infield single. Ryan Howard then clears them with a 475-ft monster to right for a grand-slam home run, his fourteenth home run of the year, his third grand-salm of the season, and the eighth grand-slam of his career, setting a new franchise record, as he scored Rollins, Victorino and Utley before him, giving the Phils a 6-3 lead. In the fourth, the Nats would get one of the runs back, as, with one man on, and nobody out, Gonzalez hits an RBI triple, knocking in Austin Kearns, who had earlier walked, making it a 6-4 Phils lead. The Phils would get the run back in their half of the inning as, with a runner on second, and one man out, Hamels hits an RBI double, knocking in Ruiz, who had earlier doubled, giving the Phils a 7-4 lead. In the sixth, with a man on, and two men out, pinch hitter Ronnie Belliard hits a pinch hit two-run home run, scoring Kearns, who had earlier singled, had gone to second when Gonzalez was hit by the pitch, and had gone over to third on Nieves’ double play, 5-4-3, wiping out Gonzalez at second, making it 7-6 Phils. The Phils would get those two runs back in their half of the sixth as, with the bases loaded, via a walk to pinch hitter Greg Dobbs, a double by Victorino, which sent Dobbs to third, and a walk to Utley, with two men out, Howard would reach base on a fielding error by second baseman Hernandez, allowing both Dobbs and Victorino to score, and Utley to reach third, as the Phils take a 9-6 lead. That would be the final score as the Phillies’ bullpen shut down the Nats for the final three innings, with Brad Lidge notching his eleventh save of the year as he pitched a scoreless ninth.

Cole Hamels got the victory as he pitched six innings, giving up six runs on eight hits, a walk and a hit batter, while he struck out seven. His record is now 3-2 with a 5.21 ERA. Scott Eyre recorded his ninth hold of the year as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up two hits. Clay Condrey pitched two-thirds of an inning, recording his fourth hold of the season, as he struck out a batter. Ryan Madson recorded his eleventh hold of the year as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two. Brad Lidge recorded his eleventh save of the season as he gave up only a hit, while striking out a batter. Shairon Martis took the lost as he pitched only four innings, giving up seven runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out only one. His record is now 5-1 with a 5.62 ERA. Jason Bergmann pitched a scoreless inning. Mike MacDougal pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on a hit and a walk. Ron Villone, Julian Taverez, Kip Wells and Jesus Colome combined for two and a third scoreless innings, giving up two hits (Tavarez (1), Colome (1)), a walk (Villone) and two hit batters (Tavarez (1), Colome (1)), while striking out four (Tavarez (1), Colome (3)) between them.

The Phillies had ten hits, with Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard leading the way with two hits each, with both of Howard’s hits being home runs. Chase Utley, Jayson Werth, Carlos Ruiz and Cole Hamels had the Phils’ other four hits. Besides Howard’s five RBIs, Hamels and Rollins both knocked in a run. The Phils had six extra-base hits, four doubles and two home runs. The Phils also stole five bases, with Utley, Rollins, Victorino, Ruiz and Werth each stealing a base. The win gives the Phils a series win, as they now go for the series sweep against the Nationals.

The Phillies (27-20, 1st) will conclude their three-games home stand with an afternoon game against the Nationals (13-35, 5th) that will be played at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 1:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Jamie Moyer (3-5, 7.42), who is coming off a lost against the Marlins on May 25, where he went six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Phils’ 5-3 lost. He is still looking for his 250th career win, and for his first victory in over a month. The Nationals will counter with John Lannan (2-4, 4.11), who is coming off a lost on May 25 to the Mets, as he pitched five innings, giving up five runs on eight hits and four walks, in the Nats’ 5-2 lost. He will be trying to keep the Phils from sweeping the Nats. The Phillies will be trying to leave home with a winning home stand before going back onto the road, where they have the best record in baseball.

Phils power their way into an easy win, while their ace is injured for the second straight start as he tries to field a bunt.

The Phillies use of the long ball leads to a very easy win, as they defeat the Nationals, 7-1, winning their fifth game in a row, and their first series win at home. During the win, their ace, Cole Hamels, sprained his left ankle trying to field a John Lannan bunt attempt in the fifth inning, thus missing out on getting the win. He expects to make his next start on Monday. We’ll see.

The first two and a half innings of the game involved a pitchers’ duel between Phillies’ ace Cole Hamels and Nationals’ starter John Lannan. That would all change in the bottom of the third, as, with a runner on first, and one man out, Chase Utley hits a two-run home run, his sixth home run of the year, scoring Shane Victorino, who had reached base earlier with a single, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. Four batters later, with two men on, and two men out, Pedro Feliz hits a three-run shot, his second home run of the year, knocking in Jayson Werth, who had earlier reached base on shortstop Alberto Gonzalez’s fielding error, and had moved on to second on Raul Ibanez’s walk, and Ibanez, who had earlier walked, making it a 5-0 Phillies’ lead. In the fifth, with a man on base, and one man out, Hamels moved off the mound to field Lannan’s sacrifice bunt attempt. While trying to field the ball, he rolled over his left ankle, slightly spraining it, as Lannan reached first base safely, credited with a single, while Gonzalez, who had earlier reached base with a single, moved up to second. After being unable to throw off of the mound, an angry Hamels was taken out of the game, with two men on and still only one out, and replaced by Chad Durbin. Durbin then proceeded to get out the next two batters, Ronnie Belliard and Nate Johnson, by fly outs. In the bottom of the inning, the Phils made the score 6-0 as Utley hits a lead-off home run, his seventh home run of the year, and his second home run of the game. In the sixth, the Nationals finally got on the board, as, with one out, Adam Dunn hits a solo home run, his sixth home run of the year. In the eighth, Ibanez made it a 7-1 Phils’ lead as he hits a lead-off home run, his seventh home run of the year. That would end up being the final score as Clay Condrey pitched a scoreless ninth.

Cole Hamels received a no-decision as he was taken out of the game in the fifth inning, after spraining his left ankle while trying to field a bunt attempt. Before that had occurred, he was pitching a superb game, giving up no runs on four hits and two walks, while striking out four, in four and a third innings of work. Chad Durbin got the win as he pitched three and two-thirds strong innings of relief for Hamels, giving up just one run on one hit, as he struck out two. His record is now 1-0 with a 4.97 ERA. Clay Condrey pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just a hit. John Lannan took the lost, as he pitched five innings, giving up six runs, only three of which were earned, on nine hits and a walk, while he struck out three. His record is now 0-3 with a 4.61 ERA. Jason Bergmann pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit, while striking out a batter. Saul Rivera pitched two innings, giving up a run on one hit, while striking out two.

The Phillies had eleven hits in the game, with Chase Utley leading the way with three hits, a single and two home runs, knocking in three runs and scoring twice, as he raised his batting average to .357. Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez and Pedro Feliz then followed with two hits apiece, with one of Ibanez’s hits and one of Feliz’s being home runs. Utley and Ibanez are now among the league leaders in home runs with seven home runs each, tying them with Albert Pujols of the Cardinals, Andre Ethier of the Dodgers and Joey Votto of the Reds. Jimmy Rollins and Chris Coste had the other two Phillies’ hits. Besides Utley’s three RBIs, Feliz had three RBIs and Ibanez one.

The Phillies (11-8, 2nd) conclude their three-games series with the Nationals (4-15, 5th) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park with game time being 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (1-1, 4.91), who is coming off a no-decision against the Marlins on April 24, when he pitched sixth strong innings, giving up only three runs on eight hits and six walks, while striking out five, in the Phillies’ dramatic 7-3 come-from-behind win. He will be trying for his second win of the year and his first start without giving up a home run. He will be opposed by Scott Olsen (0-3, 7.29), who is coming a lost against the Mets, also on April 24, in which he pitched six innings, giving up two runs on nine hits and two walks, as he struck out four, in the Nationals’ 4-3 lost. He will be trying for his first win of the year. The Phillies hope to win their sixth game in the row, and hope to take over first place, before they get ready to host the Mets this upcoming weekend.

Joe Blanton loses his first game as a Phil as the Nationals gain their first win of the year as they defeat the Phils, 8-2.

The Phillies’ Joe Blanton loses his first start since being traded to the Phils, as he and the relief corps were the victims of several home runs launched by the Nationals as the Phils fall to the Nationals, 8-2.

The Nationals took a quick 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Adam Dunn hit a three-run home run, his third home run of the season, knocking in both Nick Johnson and Ryan Zimmerman, who had both earlier singled, while the two had moved up to third and second base respectively on Zimmerman’s single, as Pedro Feliz committed a catch error on the play. Those would turn out to be the only runs that Joe Blanton would give up as he proceeded to pitch the Phillies’ starters first quality start as he kept the Nationals scoreless for the next five innings. The Phillies, meantime, proceeded to cut down the Nats’ lead. They first made it 3-1 in the fourth as Raul Ibanez, with two men outs, singled in Chase Utley, who had earlier singled and had moved over to second base on Ryan Howard’s ground out to first. The Phils then cut the lead down to 3-2 in the fifth as Jimmy Rollins hit a sacrifice fly, knocking in Lou Marson, who had earlier doubled and had moved over to third on Blanton’s sacrifice bunt. But, the bullpen, this time, would be unable to keep the game close. In the seventh, Chad Durbin gave up a lead-off, solo home run to Josh Willingham, Willingham’s first home run of the year, making it 4-2 Nats. Then in the eighth, Jack Taschner would give up four runs to the Natonals. Elijah Dukes started things off by hitting a lead-off, solo home run, his second hme run of the season, increasing the Nationals’ lead to 5-2. Three batters later, Alberto Gonzalez made it 6-2 Nationals by hitting a solo home run with two outs, his first home run of the year. Two batters later, Anderson Hernandez made it 7-2 Nats with an RBI single, knocking in Roger Bernadina, who had earlier walked and then stole second base. Zimmerman increased the Nationals’ lead to 8-2 by bringing home Hernandez, who had moved up to second base on Johnson’s walk, while Johnson would move up to second. That would end up being the final score as Joel Hanrahan came in and pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the Nationals, giving them their first win of the season.

Joe Blanton took the lost, his first since his trade last year to the Phils from the Oakland A’s, as he pitched six solid innings, giving up just three runs on eight hits and one walk, while he struck out five. His record is now 0-1 with a still high ERA of 9.00. Chad Durbin pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on a hit and two walks. Jack Taschner pitched an inning, getting smoked for four runs on four hits and two walks as he struck out two. J.A. Happ pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. Shairon Martis picked up the win for the Nationals, as he went six and one-thirds innings, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out one. His record is now 1-0 with a 4.82 ERA. Mike Hinckley pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Joe Beimel pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Joel Hanrahan also pitched a 1-2-3 inning, with a strike out, ending the game for the Nationals.

The Phillies had only five hits in the game, with both Raul Ibanez and Lou Marson collecting two hits. Ibanez, who raised his average to .303, went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Marson, catching in his first game since being called up because of Carlos Ruiz’s injury, went two for three, including a double, as he scored a run. Chase Utley had the other Phils’ hit, a single, as he went 1 for 3 with a walk, scoring a run, as his average dropped to .393. Jimmy Rollins knocked in the other Phils’ run with a sacrifice fly. The Phils other .300 hitters at the moment, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz saw their batting averages drop as they all took the collar (.313, .313 and .308 respectively).

The Phillies (4-4, 3rd) now come home for a seven-games home stand, starting with a four-games series with the San Diego Padres (7-3, T-1st National League West). The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin after 7 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be their ace Cole Hamels (0-1, 17.18), who is coming off a rocky start against the Colorado Rockies last friday night. He gave up seven runs on eleven hits and a walk, while striking out only one batter in three and two-thirds innings of work, in the Phils’ 10-3 lost. He will be trying to recover from that poor start. The Padres will counter with Chris Young (2-0, 1.38), who is coming off a win against the San Francisco Giants on April 12, where he pitched seven strong innings, giving up no runs on four hits, while striking out seven, in the Padres’ 6-1 win. He will be looking to increase his record to 3-0 at the Phillies’ expense. The Phillies will come home, preparing several tributes in the memory of the late Harry Kalas, while trying to see if they can get back onto the winning track.

The Phillies have now won three games in a row as they defeat the Nats in a wild one, 9-8.

Hours after their beloved voice had died in a local Washington hospital, the Phillies hung on to win a wild one in the nation’s capital as they defeat the Nationals, 9-8. The victory gave them their first three games winning streak of the season.

The Nationals took an early lead in the first, as Elijah Dukes hit a two-out RBI double, scoring Cristian Guzman, who had earlier singled and had stolen second base, giving the Nats a 1-0 lead. The Phillies came back in the second, tying the game up at one apiece on a bases loaded walk to Chris Coste, scoring Jayson Werth, who had earlier singled, moved to second on a force out attempt, fielding error at second base by second baseman Anderson Hernandez on a Raul Ibanez grounder and a walk to Pedro Feliz. The Phils then took a 2-1 lead as starter Jamie Moyer hit a sacrifice fly to left, as Ibanez crossed the plate ahead of left fielder’s Adam Dunn’s throw to the plate. Washington tied it up at two all in their half of the second as Guzman hit a two-out RBI single, scoring Hernandez who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second base on Nats’ starter Daniel Carbrera’s sacifice bunt. The Phils retook the lead in the top of the third on Shane Victorino’s lead-off home run, his first home run of the year, making it 3-2 Phils. The Phillies made it 4-2 in the fourth as Jimmy Rollins hit a two-out RBI double, knocking in Feliz, who had earlier singled to left and had gone to second on Dunn’s fielding error and then moved on to third on Moyer’s ground out, 6-3. The Nationals got one of those runs back in their half of the fourth on a two-out single by Guzman, scoring Lastings Milledge, who had earlier single and stole second, making it a 4-3 Phillies’ lead. The Nats then tied the game up at four all in the fifth as Dukes hit a one-out solo home run, his first home run of the year. The Phils retook the lead for good in the seventh, as Ryan Howard hit a three-run home, his first home run of the year, scoring both Victorino and Chase Utley, who had both reached base after being hit by the pitch, with nobody out, making it 7-4 Phils. Two batters later, with one man out, Ibanez hit a solo shot, his third home run of the season, to make the score 8-4 Phils. In the bottom half of the inning, the Nats got two of the runs back on an one-out, two-run home run by Dunn, his second home run of the season, scoring Guzman, who had earlier singled, making it an 8-6 Phils’ lead. The Phils added an insurance run in the eighth, as Victorino hit a sacrifice fly, scoring pinch hitter Eric Bruntlett, who had earlier doubled and moved to third on a Rollins’ ground out, 4-3. In the ninth inning, the Nats made the game close as Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-run home run, with no one out, his second home run of the season, off of closer Brad Lidge, knocking in pinch runner Alberto Gonzalez, who was pinch running for Guzman, who had earlier singled, making it a 9-8 Phillies’ lead. But that would be the final score as Lidge went on to strike out Dunn on five pitches, get Dukes to strike out on four pitches and then get Nick Johnson to ground out to Howard for the final out, to record his third save of the season.

Jamie Moyer got the win as he pitched a good game for the Phillies, going six innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and two walks, as he struck out five. His record is now 1-1 with a too high ERA of 6.55. Clay Condrey pitched two thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits. Scott Eyre went a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. Ryan Madson then pitched a scoreless eighth inning, holding the lead as he struck out two. Brad Lidge recorded his third save of the year as he went one inning, giving up two runs on two hits, as he struck out two men. Daniel Carbera got a no-decision as he pitched five innings, giving up four runs, only one of which was earned, on six hits and two walks, while striking out only two batters. Julian Tavarez then pitched two thirds of an inning, giving up a walk, as he struck out two. Mike Hinckley then pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only man he would face. Saul Rivera took the lost as he pitched an inning, giving up four runs on two hits and two hit batters, as he struck out one Phil. His record is now 0-1 with a 8.44 ERA. Wilfredo Ledezma would pitch an inning, giving up a run on one hit. Joe Beimel pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up only one hit.

The Phils collected ten hits in the game, with Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez leading the way with two hits each. Howard and Ibanez both hit home runs, with Howard’s being a three-run blast and Ibanez’s a solo shot, while Ibanez also hit a double. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Pedro Feliz and Eric Bruntlett had the Phils’ other four hits, with Victorino’s hit being a solo home run, while Rollins and Bruntlett’s hits were doubles. Besides Howard’s three RBI’s and Ibanez’s one, Victorino knocked in two, the second one on a sac fly, Rollins knocked in a run, Jamie Moyer plated a run with a sacrifice fly and Coste brought in one on a bases loaded walk. Howard raised his batting average to .345 and Werth increased his to .357 with their two hits, while Feliz is now hitting .364 thanks to his lone hit. Utley’s batting average dropped down to .400 as he went 0 for 4 in the game. 

The Phillies (4-3) have the day off tomorrow. Although they were originally schedule to go to the White House to meet the President, that function has been cancelled because of Harry Kalas’ death earlier this afternoon. The next Phillies’ game will be played against the Nationals (0-7) Wednesday night from Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Joe Blanton (0-1, 15.75), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on April 9, when he went only four innings, giving up nine runs on eleven hits and two walks, while striking out six, in the Phils 12-11 come from behind win. Blanton will be looking to improve upon his previous start. The Nationals’ starter is yet to be announced. The Phils will be looking to make it four wins in a row on Wednesday.

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 1: Sweeping the Nationals and ending the regular season on a high note.

The Phillies, behind a bunch of rookies and bench players, defeated the Nationals, 8-3, ending the 2008 regular season on a high note. They will now be facing the Brewers in the National League Divisional Series starting this coming Wednesday afternoon.

The Phillies took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as, with two men on base and one out, Eric Bruntlett, who has earlier singled and then moved to third on Tadahito Iguchi’s double, would cross the plate on Nationals’ starter Odalis Perez’s wild pitch, while Iguchi would move up to third. The Nationals would tie the game in the third, as the Phillies’ surprise starter Kyle Kendrick would give up a lead-off home run to Luke Montz, his first career home run. The Nationals would then take the lead in the fourth as, with a runner on second and no one out, Kory Casto would hit a RBI double, scoring Anderson Hernandez, who has earlier doubled, to make it 2-1 Nationals. Two batters later, with Casto now on third, after moving up on Ryan Langerhans’ ground out, 4-3, he would score on Alberto Gonzalez’s RBI single, making it 3-1 Nationals. The Phillies would strike back in their half of the fourth, as, with runners on second and third and two outs, So Taguchi would hit a two-run single, scoring Lou Marson, who has earlier singled, his first hit in the majors, and would move up to third on pinch hitter Jayson Werth’s single, who would later steal second, tying the game up at three all. Eric Bruntlett would then follow with a RBI double, knocking in Taguchi and giving the Phillies a 4-3 lead. The Phillies would add to their lead in the sixth, when, with a runner on first and two outs, Taguchi would hit a RBI triple, knocking in pinch hitter Ryan Howard, who has earlier singled to the left of the shift that most major league teams would put up against him, making it 5-3 Phillies. Then in the eighth, the Phillies would put the game away, when, with a runner on first and two outs, Marson would hit a monster two-run home run to left, his first career home run, scoring Greg Golson, who was earlier safe at first on a force play, which has wiped out Mike Cervenak, who has earlier reached base on a fielding error by Nationals’ shortstop Hernandez, giving the Phillies a 7-3 lead. Pinch hitter Matt Stairs would then follow with a solo home run to right, his thirteen home run of the year, to give the Phillies an 8-3 lead. That would be the ballgame as Clay Condrey would come in to pitch a scoreless ninth, although he would give up a walk and then a single before recording the final out of the Phillies’ 2008 regular season by getting Emilio Bonifacio to ground out, 3-1.

Kyle Kendrick, the surprise starter, would get a no-decision as he pitches four innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits. Kendrick, who is not on the Phils’ post-season roster, will now be sent down to the Florida Instructional League to rebuild his confidence in his pitches as well as being taught two more pitches to help compliment his slider, before he comes back to join the team for spring training 2009. Les Walrond would get the win as he pitches two scoreless innings, giving up two hits as he struck out four. His record is now 1-1 with a 6.10 ERA. J.A. Happ would pitch one and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief, giving up two hits as he struck out three. Rudy Seanez would pitch a third of an inning, getting out the only batter he would face. Clay Condrey would pitch a scoreless ninth, giving up a hit and a walk. Odalis Perez would get the lost, as he is only able to pitch three and two-thirds inning, leaving the game early because of a possible injury and with the Nats not taking any chances with his career, giving up four runs, only three of which were earned, on eight hits while striking out five. His record is now 7-12 with an ERA of 4.34. Shairon Martis would pitch two innings and a third, giving up an earned run on two hits while striking out three. Marco Estrada would pitch two innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on three hits.

The Phillies (92-70) would end the year with a sweep of the Nationals, winning the third game of the series with rookies and bench players, although two of the regulars, Jayson Werth and Ryan Howard would both come up to bat as pinch hitters, both getting singles and both scoring. Among the bench players, So Taguchi would lead the way by going 3 for 5, getting a triple, knocking in three runs while scoring one. Eric Bruntlett and Tadahito Iguchi would be next as they each went two for five, with Bruntlett knocking in a run and scoring one. Geoff Jenkins would be the other bench player who would get a hit. The only one among the rookies with a good day would be Lou Marson, who would go 2 for 4, getting his first major league career hit, a single, score his first run, knock in his first RBI and hit his first home run of his career, all in the same game. He also threw out his first base stealer of his career, as he caught the Nationals’ Emilio Bonifacio when he overslid second base on a steal attempt, tagged out by Iguchi when he tried to put his foot back on the bag. Also, all three pinch hitters that the Phillies would send up to the plate would hit safely as Matt Stairs would add a solo home run to Werth and Ryan’s singles. The victory gives the Phillies the second best record in the National League, beind the Central Division Champions Chicago Cubs, and the fifth in the majors, behind the American League Western Division Chmpions Los Angeles Angles, the American League Eastern Division Champions Tampa Bay Rays and the American League Wild Card Winner and Current World Champions Boston Red Sox.

The Phillies ended the season in first place in the National League Eastern Division, with a record of 92-70 for a winning percentage of .568, ending twelve wins over .500. They ended up being three games ahead of the Mets, who ended up with a record of 89-73 .559, seven and a half games ahead of the Marlins, who ended up with a record of 84-77 .522, twenty games ahead of the Braves, who ended up with a record of 72-90 .444 and thirty-two and a half games ahead of the Nationals, who ended up with a record of 59-102 .366.

The Phillies will now have today and tomorrow to rest up before they get ready to face the Wild Card Winner Milwaukee Brewers for a five games National League Divisional Series, which will start in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Cole Hamels throws a seven innings plus five-hitter at the Nats as the Phillies defeated the Nationals, 4-0.

Cole Hamels threw seven and one third innings of shut out ball, as the Phillies rebound to defeat the Nationals, 4-0. After a scoreless first, and after the Phillies have gone 1-2-3 in the top of the second, the Natonals would threaten to take the lead in their half of the second. After Ronnie Belliard started the inning off with a single, Elijah Dukes would follow with a ground-rule double, sending Belliard to third, and putting runners on second and third with no one out. But the next batter would then lined out into a double play, 8 to 4, doubling up Dukes at second. Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels would then get Alberto Gonzalez to ground out, 4 to 3, to end the inning, with the score still nothing to nothing. The Phillies would then break the tied in the third inning as, with a runner on second and two outs, Jimmy Rollins would hit a RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who was safe at first on a force out and then have gone to second on Hamels’ sacrifice bunt, beating left fielder Willie Harris’ throw to the plate, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while Rollins would go on to second on the throw. Chase Utley would then follow with a RBI single, scoring Rollins, and giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. Jayson Werth would then follow with the third straight single of the inning, sending Utley to third. With the count 1-0 to Ryan Howard, Nationals’ starter John Lannard would throw to first, trying to pick off Werth. On the play, Utley broke for home. Nationals’ first baseman Belliard would then throw home, where the ball is caught by Jesus Flores. Flores is then bowl over by Utley, but held onto the ball as he tags Utley out for the third out of the inning. Flores would then lie on the ground for a while, as him appear to have gotten injured on the play, as his spiked right shoe would not let go of the ground during the collision at the plate. He would eventually be taken off the field in a cart. The Phillies would then add to their lead in the seventh, as the Nats replaced Lannard with Levale Speigner. Pedro Feliz would greet him with a single, followed by a single by Ruiz, which would place Feliz on second base, with no one out. Hamels would then move the runners as he grounded out, third to first, putting runners on second and third with one man out. Rollins would folow with a RBI single, scoring Feliz, making it 3-0 Phillies, and sending Ruiz to third. The Nats then replace Speigner with Mike Hinckley. Utley would greet him by hitting a grounder to second baseman Anderson Hernandez who would throw out Utley for out number two. Belliard would then throw to the Nats’ shortstop Gonzalez, trapping Rollins between first and second. Rollins would stay in the basepath long enough for Ruiz to score the Phils’ fourth run before he is finally tagged out by Hinckley for out number three. In the meantime, Hamels would keep the Nats’ under control, striking out six batters, before an one out single by Hernandez would lead to Hamels being replaced by J.C. Romero. Romero would then proceed to strike out Harris for the inning’s second out. Romero is then taken out and is replaced by Chad Durbin. He would end the inning by getting Ryan Zimmerman to hit into a force out for the inning’s final out. Brad Lidge would then come out to pitch the ninth. After giving up a lead off triple to Lastings Milledge, he would get the next three hitters out to end the game.

Cole Hamels would get the win as he pitches seven and one third shut out innings, giving up only five hits and strking out six batters. His record is now 12-8 with a 3.01 ERA. J.C. Romero and Chad Durbin would each pitch a third of an inning, giving up no hits between them. Brad Lidge would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. John Lannan would take the lost as he pitches six innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits. His record is now 8-13 with a 3.88 ERA. Levale Speigner would pitch a third of an inning, giving up two earned runs on three hits. Mike Hinckley  would pitch one and two-thirds innings, giving up no runs on no hits. Garrett Mock would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits.

Although getting very few hits in the ballgame, the Phillies’ offense would get enough of them to knock in enough runs to win the game. With last night’s game, Hamels would reach two hundred innings’ pitched for the first time in his young career, with more to come before the season is over.  J.C. Romero and Chad Durbin, in the meantime, would come in to help get the Phils through the eighth inning after Hamels is unable to get the second out of the inning.

The Phillies (76-63) will end their three games series with the Nationals (53-86) with a night game. The game will be played at Nationals Park and wil start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Joe Blanton (6-12 (1-0), 4.69), who is coming off another no-decision, this time against the Cubs on August 29, going five and two-thirds innings, giving up only two earned runs on two hits, in the Phillies’ 3-2 lost. Blanton will be trying to get his second win as a Phil while trying to go deeper into the ballgame. The Nationals’ starter will be Odalis Perez (6-10, 4.14), who is coming off a win against the Braves on August 29, as he went six and a third innings, giving up only two earned runs on seven hits, in the Nationals’ 7-3 win. He will be trying to improve his record while also trying to win the seres for the Nats.

The Phillies remain two games behind the Mets as they once again defeated the Brewers, while they stay six games ahead of the now fading Marlins as they lost to the Braves. The Phillies will try to win the present series with the Nationals before heading to New York to face the Mets for the last time this season.