Massive home runs off of the bats of Jayson Werth and Ryan Howard and a strong pitching performance by Joe Blanton help lead the Phils to a sweep of the D-backs, as they defeated Arizona 12-3. The Phils, with the Marlins’ lost to the Astros, now hold a six-and-a-half games lead over both the fish and the Braves, as they head north to face a weaken Mets team for four games, and without having to face their major nemesis Johan Santana.
The Phils took an early lead in the first inning as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI double, knocking in Shane Victorino, who had earlier tripled, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while sending Chase Utley, who had just walked, over to third base. Two batters later, with two men still on base, and now with two outs, Ben Francisco hits an RBI single, scoring both Utley and Howard, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead. The D-backs got a run back in the second as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Alex Romero hits an RBI single, scoring Mark Reynolds, who had earlier singled, had moved up to second on Chad Tracy’s single, and had then gone to third on Trent Oeltjen’s force out, 4-6, wiping out Tracy at second, making it a 3-1 Phils’ lead, while sending Oeltjen, who was safe at first on the force out, to go to third. The D-backs would make it 3-2 Phils in the fourth as, with a man on second and with nobody out, Miguel Montero hits an RBI double, knocking in Reynolds, who had earlier singled. The next batter, Tracy, would knock in Montero, tying the ballgame at three-all. The Phils would regain the lead in their half of the fourth as, with the bases loaded, via a single by Jayson Werth, who then reached second safely on a throwing error by D-backs’ third baseman Reynolds on a Francisco ground ball, and a walk to Carlos Ruiz, moving Werth up to third and Francisco over to second, with one man out, as Phils’ starter Joe Blanton hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, for the inning’s second out, as he brought home Werth to give the Phils’ a 4-3 lead. The Phils added to their lead in the fifth as, with one man on, and with one man out, Jayson Werth hits a two-run home run, his twenty-eighth home run of the season, knocking in Howard, who had earlier walked, making it a 6-3 Phils’ lead. The Phils then proceeded to break the game wide open in the sixth as Carlos Ruiz lead off the inning with a home run, his seventh home run of the year, giving the Phils a 7-3 lead. Four batters later, with two men on, and with one man out, Utley hits an RBI single, scoring Blanton, who had earlier singled, and had gone to second on Jimmy Rollins’ single, making it 8-3 Phils, while sending Rollins, who had earlier singled, over to third, while Utley would go to second base on the throw. The Phils then made 11-3 as Howard would hit a three-run bomb into the visitor’s bullpen in center field, his thirty-second home run of the season, knocking in both Rollins and Utley. The Phils would then make it 12-3 in the seventh as, with the bases loaded via a walk to Carlos Ruiz, a single by Blanton and an infield single by Rollins, and with nobody out, Victorino hits into an RBI force out, scoring Ruiz as Blanton was out at third base, 5-unassisted, while Rollins was safe at second and Victorino was safe at first. That would be the final score as Chad Durbin pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
Joe Blanton got the victory as he pitched eight strong innings, giving up three runs on ten hits, while striking out four batters. His record is now 8-6 with an ERA of 3.86. Chad Durbin pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out a batter. Doug Davis took the lost as he went five innings, giving up six runs, five of which were earned, on five hits and four walks, as he struck out six. His record is now 7-11 with a 3.77 ERA. Leo Rosales pitched a third of an inning, giving up three runs on three hits. Daniel Schlereth pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk. Esmerling Vasquez pitched an inning and a third, giving up a run on two hits and a walk. Chad Qualls pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men whom he would face, striking out one.
The Phils had twelve hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and, surprise, Joe Blanton, leading the team with two hits each, with one of Howard’s hits being a double and the other one being a three-run blast, knocking in four of the Phils’ runs, while one of Werth’s two hits was a two-run home run, as he knocked in two runs. Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, Ben Francisco and Carlos Ruiz had the other four Phils’ hit, with Victorino hitting a triple and Ruiz hitting a solo home run. Besides Howard’s four RBIs, Werth’s two and Ruiz’s one, Victorino knocked in a run on a force out, Utley would knock in one, Francisco would knock in two runs and Blanton would bring home one with a ground out. The Phils this time were able to score as many runs as they had hits in the ballgame, this time taking advantage of their scoring opportunities.
The Phillies (69-49, 1st) will now go to New York to face the Mets (56-65, 4th) for a four games series, starting with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citi Field and will start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Cole Hamels (7-7, 4.69), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on August 15, where he went six innings, giving up two runs on three hits and four walks, while striking out two, in the Phils’ 4-3 lost. He will be trying to get his stuff back. The Mets will counter with Mike Pelfrey (8-8, 4.75), who is coming off a no-decision of his own against the Giants on August 16, as he went seven and a third innings, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out five, in the Mets’ 3-2 win. He will be trying for his ninth win of the season. The Phillies will be trying to bury the Mets even lower in the standings, while at the same time trying to put some more distance between themselves and both the Braves and the Marlins, as the later two teams face each other for three games in Atlanta.
For the fourth time in as many start, Cliff Lee dominates the opposing batters, this time by pitching a complete game two-hitter, as he allowed in only an unearned run, as the Phils defeat the D-backs, 8-1. They increase their lead over the Marlins to five-and-a-half games as the fish lose to the Astros.
The Phils took the lead in the third as, with a runner on first, and with one out, Chase Utley hits a two-run home run to center field, his twenty-fifth home run of the season, scoring ahead of him Shane Victorino, who had just walked, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. The D-backs would cut the Phils’ lead in half in the fourth as, with a man on third base, and with one man out, Stephen Drew hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Ryan Roberts, who had earlier reached base on a Pedro Feliz fielding error as he misplayed the ball, going to second on the error, then reaching third on Augie Ojeda’s ground out, 4-3, making it 2-1 Phils. That would turn out to be as much offense as the D-backs will be able to mustard. In the fifth, the Phils would bust the game wide open as, with two men on, and with one man out, Ryan Howard hit a three-run bomb into left center field, his thirty-first home run of the year, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier double, and had gone to third on Victorino’s single, and Victorino, who had earlier singled, to give the Phils a 5-1 lead. The Phils then made it 6-1 as Jayson Werth followed Howard with a solo home run, his twenty-sixth home run of the season. In the top of the sixth, with one man out, pinch hitter Chad Tracy got on base with a pinch hit single, ending Lee’s no-hit bit at five and a third innings, before being stranded at first as the next two D-back hitters flew out to right (Roberts) and struck out looking (Ojeda). The Phils would increase their lead to 7-1 in the bottom half of the inning as, with a man on second, and with two men out, Victorino hits an RBI double, scoring Lee, who had earlier got on base with a single, and then went to second on a wild pitch. In the seventh,the Phils added another run as, with one man out, Werth hits a solo home run, his second of the night and his twenty-seventh home run of the year, making it an 8-1 Phils’ lead. That would be more than enough for Lee, as he would only allow two more base runners after giving up the single, a hit batter in the top of the seventh (Rusty Ryal) and a single in the eighth (Alex Romero), mowing down the D-backs in the ninth inning with a fly out to right (Josh Whitesell), a fly out to left (Drew) and a strike out swinging (Mark Reynolds), as he recorded a two-hitter, and his fourth straight victory since becoming a Phil and his seventh straight win in his last seven starts.
Cliff Lee picked up the win as he pitched a complete game, his second since joining the Phils, as he gave up an unearned run on two hits and a hit batter, while striking out eleven batters, tying a career high. His record is now 11-9 (4-0) with an ERA of 2.72 (0.82). Dan Haren took the lost as he lasted only five innings, giving up six runs on nine hits and a walk, while striking out six. His record is now 12-8 with a 2.74 ERA. Clay Zavada pitched one and a third innings, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out two. Juan Gutierrez pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on one hit, while he struck out one. Blaine Boyer pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, as he struck out a batter.
The Phils had thirteen hits in the game, with Jayson Werth leading the way with three hits, with two of his hits being solo home runs, raising his average to .267. Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, and yes, Cliff Lee, followed with two hits apiece, with one of Shane’s hits being an RBI double, while one of Utley’s hits was a two-run home run. Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez and Paul Boko had the other four Phils’ hits, with Rollins’ being a double, and Howard’s being a three-run bomb which broke the game wide open. All but one of the Phils’ run came via the long ball, something the Phils do very well, but they will need to rely on less if they hope to win their second straight league title and world series championship.
The Phillies (68-49, 1st National League East) will conclude their short home stand with the Diamondbacks (54-67, 4th National League West) with a night game. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm. The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (7-6, 3.88), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on August 14, where he pitched seven innings, giving up just two runs, only one of which was earned, on seven hits and a walk, while striking out two, in the Phils’ 3-2 win. He will be trying for his first win in about a month, while also going for the series sweep. He will be opposed by Doug Davis (7-10, 3.59), who is coming off a no-decision of his own against the Dodgers on August 15, as he went six innings, giving up two runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out two, in the D-backs’ 4-3 win. He will be trying to prevent the sweep. The Phils will be trying to end the short home stand on a positive note, before going onto the road to face the hurting Mets for four games, and then the lowly Pirates for three, with a good chance to increase their lead in the East over the Marlins by the time they come back home.
The old Adam Eaton of late ’07 might have returned as the Phillies have lost to the Diamondbacks, 10-4. The D-backs would score first as Chad Tracy would hit a RBI single, knocking in Stephen Drew, who has earlier singled, giving the D-backs a 1-0 lead. Mark Reynolds then hit into a force out, third to second, scoring Conor Jackson, who has earlier singled, to make it 2-0 Arizona. The Phillies would tie it in the third as Shane Victorino hit his fourth home run of the year, a two-run shot off of D-backs’ starter, Randy Johnson, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who has earlier walked. But then the old Adam Eaton would reappear in the top of the fourth. After easily getting out the first two batters, Eaton would give up a single to Alex Romero. Robby Hammock would follow with a walk, moving Romero to second. Johnson would then come to the plate, and after getting the count to go to 3-2, after trailing 1-2, would hit a two-run double to left, scoring both Romero and Hammock, giving the Diamondbacks a 4-2 lead. Drew then walks. Jackson would then follow with his own double to left, scoring Johnson to make it 5-2 D-backs, while moving Drew to third. Eaton then intentionally walked Orlando Hudson to load the bases. He would also be the last batter he would face, as Charlie Manuel replaces him with R.J. Swindle. Swindle is greeted by a single from Tracy, scoring both Drew and Jackson, making it 7-2 D-backs, while sending Hudson to third. The next batter, Reynolds, who has started the inning, then hit a three-run home run off of Swindle, his nineteenth home run of the year, to give the D-backs a commanding 10-2 lead. After giving up a single to Chris Young, Swindle would finally end the inning by getting Romero to fly out. In the fifth, the Phillies would shorten the lead as Swindle gets his first career RBI by grounding out to the right side of the infield, second to first, scoring Eric Bruntlett, who has earlier doubled, and has gone to third on a Ruiz ground out, making it 10-3, D-backs. Victorino then follows with his fifth home run of the year, a solo shot, also off of Johnson, making it 10-4 D-backs. And that would be the game as both team would not be able to score any more runs, with the game ending in a D-backs’ victory as Micah Owings would get the Phillies to go down 1-2-3 in the ninth.
Adam Eaton took the lost, as it appears that the Eaton of late ’07 has returned. He would only go three and two-thirds innings, giving up eight earned runs on seven hits. His record is now 3-8 with an ERA of 5.71. R.J. Swindle pitches one and two-thirds innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits. Rudy Seanez would go two and two-thirds innings, giving up no runs on one hits. Clay Condrey would pitch a scoreless, hitless inning. Randy Johnson would get the win as he goes six innings, giving up four earned runs on five hits. His record is now 6-7 with a 5.23 ERA. Leo Rosales would pitch a scoreless, hitless inning while Micah Owings would pitch two shut out innings.
The Phillies’ offense was for the most part unable to handle Randy Johnson, as usual, while Adam Eaton got nailed in the fourth inning, after the Phillies were able to tie the score in the third inning. It seems that with the last two starts that the Adam Eaton who was pitching in the last few months of ’07 has returned, especially as Eaton allowed himself to not get out of the inning after giving up a hit to Alex Romero, instead of just going after the following batter. Giving up the double to Randy Johnson, after getting ahead made it worst as he appear to fool around with Johnson before he threw the pitch that Johnson drilled to left for a double, knocking in two runs. If the late ’07 Eaton has returned, the Phillies are going to be in a lot of trouble while he’s on the mound. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m starting to think that someone needs to nip this in the bud before that happens.
The Phillies (51-44) will play the final game of their three games set with the Diamondbacks (47-47, 1st National League West) tomorrow afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.The game will start at 1:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (9-6, 3.18), who is coming off a lost against the Cardinals on July 8, where he would go seven innings, giving up only two earned runs on only three hits, in the Phillies’ 2-0 lost. He will for the second time be trying to get his tenth win of the year, while also trying to end the first half for the Phillies on a winning note. He will be countered by Brandon Webb (13-4, 3.27), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on July 8, where he went six innings, giving up no runs on six hits, in the D-backs’ 2-0 victory. This will be his second start against the Phils, having defeated them in his previous start on May 8, having gone all nine innings, giving up three runs, two of which were earned, on six hits, in the D-backs’ 8-3 win. He will be trying to increase his major leaague lead in wins, while trying to end the Diamondbacks’ first half on a winning note.
The Phillies’ lead, thanks to the lost, has now shrunk to half a game as the Mets has won their eighth game in a row while the Phillies were losing to the D-backs. The Marlins are now trailing by a game, as they prepare for their game with the Dodgers, while the Phillies’ lead against the Braves is now seven games as they prepare to meet the Padres. The Phillies hope to end the first half of the season on a high note while keeping their lead in the National League East before they begin the second half with a three games series against the Marlins in Miami.
Thanks to a Jayson Werth single in the bottom of the twelfth, the Phillies have now won their third straight game as they defeat the D-backs in extra-innings, 6-5.
The Phillies would take a quick 1-0 lead in the second inning as Ryan Howard would hit his twenty-eighth home run of the year, a solo shot off of the D-backs’ starter, Doug Davis. The score would remain 1-0 for the next several innings, as Davis, and Phillies’ starter, Kyle Kendrick, would be involved in a pitchers’ duel until the top of the sixth, when, with two outs and a runner on third, Chad Tracy would hit a RBI single, scoring Orlando Hudson, who has earlier singled, stole second and has went to third on a ground out, tying the score at one all. The Phillies would retake the lead in the bottom of the sixth, when, with two men out, Pedro Feliz, who has earlier reached base with a walk, and has gone to third on Shane Victorino’s double, would score on a wild pitch by Davis, making it 2-1 Phillies, while Victornio would go to third. After Carlos Ruiz is intentionally walked, he would attempt to steal second with Kendrick batting. While Ruiz is caught off second, Victornio would break for home, and would score during the rundown, to make it 3-1 Phillies, before Ruiz is finally tagged out, Miguel Montero (catcher) to Stephen Drew (shortstop) to Tracy (first baseman), for the final out of the inning. In the seventh, Kendrick would get knocked out of the box as he is unable to keep the Diamondbacks from scoring, as the first three men that he would face in the inning would get on base: Montero would start the inning off with a single, then go to third on a Alex Romero double, putting runners on second and third. Pinch hitter Emilio Bonifacio would then double, scoring both Montero and Romero, making it three all. Augie Ojeda would then move Bonifacio over to third with a sacrifice bunt, for the first out. Charlie Manuel would then take out Kendrick, replacing him with R.J. Swindle. Drew would greet Swindle with a RBI single, scoring Bonifacio, making it 4-3 D-backs. Swindle is then replaced by Chad Durbin, who would get out the two men that he would face via a swinging strike out (Hudson) and a pop out to the catcher (Conor Jackson). The D-backs would make it 5-3 in the eighth, when Romero would hit a RBI double, while being robbed of a possible home run by an almost great catch by Victorino, which would score Montero, but Romero would be thrown out at third base when he tried to turn it into a triple, Victorino to Jimmy Rollins to Feliz. In the Phillies’ half of the eighth, Howard would start the inning off with a walk. He would then move to second on a single by Pat Burrell. After Eric Bruntlett comes in to pinch run for Burrell, Feliz would then bunt both him and Howard over a base. Victornio would then follow with a two-run triple, scoring both Howard and Bruntlett, tying the score at five all. The Phillies would then threaten to score the winning run from the ninth inning on, but would be unable to score until the twelfth, while the bullpen would shut down the Diamondbacks. So Taguchi would start the inning off with a single. He would be moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt by Chris Coste, for the first out. Rollins would then be intentionally walk. Jayson Werth would then follow with a single, that would score Taguchi, giving the Phillies the win.
Kyle Kendrick would receive a no-decision, pitching six and a third innings before finally being knocked out of the box by the D-backs, giving up four earned runs on nine hits. R.J. Swindle would face only one batter, giving up one hit. Chad Durbin would pitch one and two-thirds innings, giving up an earned run on two hits. Brad Lidge, Clay Condrey and J.C. Romero would combine to pitch three scoreless innings, giving up only one hit between them. Rudy Seanez would get the victory as he pitches an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. His record is now 4-3 with a 2.63 ERA. Doug Davis would also get a no-decision as he would go six innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits. Chad Qualls would go an inning, giving up no runs on two hits. Doug Slaten would face just one batter, giving up an earned run on no hits. Tony Pena would get a blown save, his third of the year, as he would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits. Leo Rosales would pitch two scoreless innings, giving up only two hits. Connor Robertson would take the lost, going one and a third inning, giving up one earned runs on four hits. His record is now 0-1 with a 6.35 ERA.
The Phillies (51-43) will continue their three games series with the Diamondbacks (46-47, 1st Natiomal League West) tomorrow afternoon with the second of their three games from Citizens Bank Park. The game would start at 3:55 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Adam Eaton (3-7, 5.20), who is coming off an awful start against the Mets on July 7, where he would only go two and two-thirds innings, giving up six earned runs on ten hits, in the Phillies’ 10-9 lost. Lifetime against the D-backs he is 3-5 in 14 startes with a 4.23 ERA. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to keep the Phillies ahead of the other teams in the East. The D-backs will counter with Randy Johnson, (5-7, 5.18), who is coming off a win against the Padres on July 6, as he would go six and one third innings, giving up only one run on three hits, in the Diamondbacks’ 3-2 win. Johnson will be trying for his second straight victory while hoping to be able to dominate the Phillies as he has done in the past.
The Phillies’ lead over both the Marlins and the Mets is still a game and a half as they have both won their games while their lead over the Braves have increased to seven and a half games with their lost to the Padres. The Phillies will try to continue their present winning streak while hoping to put some distance between themselves and their nearest rivals.