Tagged: American League East

The Phils salvaged a win with a six-run rally in the seventh inning against the Red Sox, avoiding being swept.

After coming home from a 7-3 road trip, which included seeing the Phils take two out of three games from the Mets at Citi Field, the Phillies come home and went on to lose the first two games of a three games series with the Boston Red Sox as Interleague Play resumes. The Phillies then won the final game of the series, after coming from behind to take the lead in the fifth before taking the game for good with a six-run seventh, as the Phils defeated the American League East leading Red Sox, 11-6, thus avoiding the sweep, while leaving themselves at 3-3 in Interleague Play.

The Phils took the lead in the first as, with runners on the corners, and two men out, Jayson Werth hits an RBI single, knocking in Chase Utley, who had earlier singled, and had gone to third on Ryan Howard’s single, making it a 1-0 Phils’ lead, while Howard went on to second. The Red Sox would come back in the second as Rocco Baldelli started the inning off with a lead-off home run, his third home run of the second, tying the game up at one. The next batter game the Bosox the lead as Nick Green hits a solo home run, his third home run of the season, making the score, 2-1 Red Sox. Four batters later, with runners on the corners, and one man out, the Bosox increased their lead to 3-1 as Jacoby Ellsbury hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in George Kottaras, who had earlier walked, and had gone to third on Julio Lugo’s single. After a walk to Kevin Youkilis moved Lugo up to second base, Jason Bay would bring Lugo home with a single, giving Boston a 4-1 lead, while sending Youkilis up to second. The score would stay 4-1 Boston until the fifth inning. Pedro Feliz started the inning off with a single, before moving up to second base on a Chris Coste single. Phils’ starter J.A. Happ would move both men up a base with a sacrifice bunt, 3-4, putting both man in scoring position. With runners on second and third and one out, Jimmy Rollins would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Feliz from third, and making it a 4-2 Red Sox’s lead, while sending Coste over to third. Shane Victorino then made it a 4-3 ballgame with an RBI single, knocking in Coste. Utley followed with an infield single, sending Victorino up to second base, who would then go on to third on the throwing error committed on the play by Red Sox’s third baseman Mike Lowell, while Utley would move up to second, putting two runners once again into scoring position. Howard then gave the Phils a 5-4 lead with a two-run double, knocking in both Victorino and Utley. The Bosox would tie the game up at five-all in the sixth as Red Sox starter Josh Beckett started off the inning with a lead-off home run, his first home run of the season. The Phillies then took full control in the seventh. Rollins started the inning off by hitting a lead-off home run, his fifth home run of the year, giving the Phils a 6-5 lead. Three batters later, with two men on, and still nobody out, the Phils would increase their lead to 7-5, as Victorino, who had earlier singled and then stole second, scored on a force play-throwing error on a Howard grounder to first, 3-6, forcing out Utley, who had earlier walked, at second, while Red Sox’s shortstop Lugo threw the ball past the first baseman, allowing Howard to reach first base. Three batters later, with runners in scoring position and now two men out, Feliz hits a two-run double, knocking in Howard, who had went to third on Werth’s double, and Werth, who had just doubled, making it 9-5 Phils. After Coste is intentionally walked, and then Chan Ho Park is walked to load the bases, Rollins is hit by the pitch, forcing in Feliz, to give the Phils a 10-5 lead, while Coste and Park both moved up a base, as the Phils battered around. Victorino followed with a walk, bringing in Coste, and making it an 11-5 Phils’ lead, with Park and Rollins moving up a base. The inning would finally end with an Utley strike out. The Red Sox would get a run back in the eighth as, with runners on first and third, and nobody out, Lugo hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Kottaras, who had earlier doubled, and had gone to third on an Eric Bruntlett fielding error when he tried to pick up the ball after it had dropped in between him and Victorino, making it an 11-6 Phils’ lead. That would end up being the final score as Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless ninth.

J.A. Happ got a no-decision as he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and six walks, while striking out three. Chan Ho Park got the win as he pitched two and a third innings, giving up a run on two hits and a walk, striking out three. His record is now 3-1 with a 6.08 ERA. Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up just two hits. Josh Beckett took the lost, as he went six innings plus two batters, giving up seven runs, six of which were earned, on eleven hits, as he struck out five. His record is 7-3 with a 4.15 ERA. Daniel Bard pitched two-thirds of an innings, giving up four runs on two hits and three walks, while striking out one. Takashi Saito pitched a third of an inning, giving up a walk, as he struck out a batter. Justin Masterson pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out one.

The Phillies collected fourteen hits in the game, with Pedro Feliz leading the way with three hits, knocking in two runs, as he increased his average to .318. He was followed by Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth, who each collected two hits. Jimmy Rollins, Eric Bruntlett and Chris Coste had the other three hits. Besides Feliz, Rollins brought home three runs, Howard and Victorino each knocked in two runs and Werth had one RBI.

The first place Phillies (36-25), have the day-off today, as they lead the Mets by four games. Their next game will be tomorrow night at home against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Brad Lidge’s third blown save ruins the starting pitching debut of J.A. Happ and the Major League Debut of John Mayberry, Jr., as the Phils lose to the Yanks in the bottom of the ninth, 5-4.

Brad Lidge’s third blown save of the season and his second on an otherwise successful road trip, ruins both the 2009 starting debut of J.A. Happ and the major league debut of John Mayberry, Jr. as the Phillies lose to the Yanks in the bottom of the ninth, 5-4.

The Phillies took a quick 1-0 lead as Raul Ibanez hits a solo home run, with one man out, in the second inning, his seventeenth home run of the year. The Yanks tied the game up at one-all in their half of the second, as, with a runner on third, and one man out, Nick Swisher hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, knocking in Robinson Cano, who had earlier doubled, and had gone to third on Melky Cabrera’s sacrifice bunt, 1-3. The Phils retook the lead in the fifth, as, with two men on, and nobody out, John Mayberry, Jr. hits a three-one home run, his first home run of the season, and the first home run of his major league career, knocking in Shane Victorino, who had earlier singled and had moved up to second on Pedro Feliz’s walk, and Feliz, who had walked, giving the Phils a 4-1 lead. In the sixth, the Yanks got a run back as, with one man out, Derek Jeter hits a solo home run, his seventh home run of the year, making it a 4-2 Phils’ lead. In the ninth, with a runner on base and one out, Alex Rodriguez hits a two-run home run, his seventh home run of the year, knocking in Johnny Damon, who had earlier walked and then stole second base, tying the game up at 4-4. Then two batters later, with Cano on second base, via a single and a stolen base, Cabrera hits an RBI single, scoring Cano and giving the Yanks a 5-4 Walk-Off Win.

J.A. Happ got a no-decision in his starting debut, pitching a very strong game against the Yanks as he went six innings, giving up just two runs on four hits, as he struck out four. Chad Durbin received his second hold of the year, as he pitched a scoreless inning, while he struck out a batter. Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless eighth, recording his eighth hold of the year, giving up a hit, as he struck out the side. Brad Lidge blew his third save of the season as he took the lost, as he pitched only a third of an inning, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk, while striking out one. His record is now 0-2 with a 9.15 ERA. Andy Pettitte also received a no-decision, as he pitched seven innings, giving up four runs on five hits and two walks, while he struck out five. Phil Coke pitched one and two-third innings of shut out ball, giving up a hit. Jose Veras took the win as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. His record is now 3-1 with a 5.89 ERA.

The Phils had only six hits in the game. Chase Utley and John Mayberry, Jr. lead the way with two hits each, with Mayberry, Jr. going 2 for 3 in his major league debut, hitting a double and a three-run home run. Raul Ibanez and Shane Victorino got the other two Phils’ hits, with Ibanez’s hit being a solo home run. Lidge blown save ruins the Phils’ chances at winning their first two games inside the new Yankees Stadium after having dominated the second game of the series with the Yankess via both good starting pitching and the long ball.

The Phillies (23-18, 1st) will conclude their three-games interleague play series with the Yankees (25-18, 3rd American League East) with an afternoon game at the new Yankees Stadium. The game will start at 1:05 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (2-2, 4.95), who is coming off a strong performance on May 19 against the Reds, as he went six innings, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out seven, in the Phils’ 4-3 win. He will be going for his three straight win and quailty start. The Yankees will oppose him with C.C. Sabathia (4-3, 3.43), who is coming off a win against the Orioles on May 19, going seven strong innings, giving up just one run on three hits and a walk, while striking out seven, in the Yankees’ 9-1 win. He will be looking for his fifth win of the season. The Phillies will be looking to go back to Philly will three straight series wins and an 8-2 road trip.

Powered by four home runs, Brett Myers pitched the Phils to a 7-3 victory over the Bronx Bombers.

Helped by four home runs, Brett Myers would pitch eight strong innings as the Phils defeated the New York Yankees in the New Yankees Stadium, 7-3.

The Phillies took a quick 1-0 lead on the game’s first pitch as Jimmy Rollins hits a lead-off home run, his third home run of the season. In the second, the Phils increased their lead as, with one man on, and one man out, Carlos Ruiz hits a two-run home run, his first home run of the year, knocking in Matt Stairs, who had earlier singled, to give the Phils a 3-0 lead. In the fifth, with one man on, and two men out, Jayson Werth hits a two-run home run, his eighth home run of the year, scoring Ryan Howard, who had earlier hit into a force out, 1-6, wiping out Raul Ibanez, who had earlier walked, at second base, to make it a 5-0 Phils lead. The Yankees finally got onto the board in the sixth as, with two men out, Alex Rodriguez hits a solo home run, his sixth home run of the year, making it a 5-1 Phils’ lead. The Phils got that run back in the seventh, as, with one man out, Ibanez hits a solo home run, his sixteenth home run of the season, giving the Phils a 6-1 lead. The Phils tacked on another run in the eighth as, with two men on, and one man out, Chase Utley hits an RBI single, scoring Pedro Feliz, who had earlier singled, and had gone on to second on Rollins’ single, making it a 7-1 Phils’ lead, while he sent Rollins, who had just singled, over to second. In the bottom half of the eighth, the Yanks would get a run back as Derek Jeter hits a lead-off home run, his sixth home run of the season, making it a 7-3 Phillies’ lead. Two batters later, with one man out, Mark Teixeira would hit a solo home run of his own, his twelfth home run of the season,  cutting the Phillies’ lead down to 7-3. But that would be the final score as Ryan Madson would shut down the Yanks in the ninth inning.

Brett Myers got the win as he pitched eight strong innings, giving up three runs on eight hits, while striking out five. His record is now 4-2 with a 4.34 ERA. Ryan Madson pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out a batter. A. J. Burnett took the lost, as he went six innings, giving up five runs on eight hits, two walks and a hit batter, while he struck out seven. His record is now 2-2 with a 5.28 ERA. Chien-Ming Wang pitched three innings of relief, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk, as he struck out two.

The Phils had fourteen hits in the game, with Carlos Ruiz leading the way with four hits, raising his average to .271. Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez, Jayson Werth and Shane Victorino followed with two hits each. Chase Utley, Matt Stairs and Pedro Feliz had the other three Phillies’ hits.Ryan Howard was the other starter not to get a hit. Werth and Ruiz had two RBIs each, while Rollins, Ibanez and Utley each knocked in a run. The Phils had five extra-base hits in the game, four home runs and a triple. The Phillies have now won seven of the eight games that they have so far played on this road trip as they go for their third straight road series win this afternoon.

The Phillies (23-17, 1st) continue their three-games weekend series with the Yankees (24-18, 3rd American League East), with an afternoon game that will be televised nationally on Fox Sports. The game will begin at 4:10 pm Eastern at the new Yankees Stadium. The Phillies will send to the mound J.A. Happ (2-0, 2.49), who will be making his first start of the season. His last appearance, as a reliever, was made on May 15, as he pitched two innings, giving up no runs on one hit and a walk, while striking out three, as he picked up the win, in the Phils’ 10-6 extra-innings win. Happ will be going out there to prove that he deserved to be the team’s fifth starter. The Yankees will counter with Andy Pettitte (4-1, 4.18), who is coming off a win against the Twins on May 18, where he went six and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs on twelve hits and one walk, while striking out three, in the Yanks’ 7-6 win. He will be going for his fifth win of the season. The Phillies will be going out to try and win their eighth game in their ten games road trip, while showing that they are a team to be respected.

Phillies unlease the lumber as they crush the Reds, 12-5, as they continue a very successful road trip.

The Phillies scored twelve runs yesterday as they crushed the Reds, 12-5, giving them their second straight series win on the road, as they head on to New York for their first visit to the New Yankees Stadium for an Interleague series with the Yankees.

The Phillies took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as, with two men on, and nobody out, Raul Ibanez hits an RBI ground out, 4-3, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier singled, and had gone to third on Chase Utley’s double. The Phils made it 3-0 in the second as, with two men on, and two outs, Utley hits a two-run single, knocking in Phils’ starter Joe Blanton, who had earlier walked, had gone to second on Rollins’ single, and then went to third on Reds’ catcher Ryan Hanigan’s throwing error when he tried to pick him off second, and Rollins, who had earlier singled, and had gone to second with a stolen base, his 300th career steal. Ibanez made it 4-0 Phillies with an RBI double, scoring Utley. In the third, with two men out, Greg Dobbs hits a solo home run, his first home run of the season, making it a 5-0 Phillies’ lead. In the fifth, once again with two men out, Utley hits a solo home run of his own, his eleventh home run of the year, and his third hit of the game, to give the Phils a 6-0 lead. In the Reds’ fifth, they would finally get to Blanton, who was breezing through their lineup before then. With two men on, and one out, Wily Taveras hits an RBI single, scoring Hanigan, who had earlier singled, had move on to second on Paul Janish’s single, and had gone to third on Ramon Ramirez’s sacrifice bunt, making it a 6-1 Phillies’ lead, while sending to third Hanigan, who had earlier singled and had went to second on Ramirez’s sac bunt. Adam Rosales followed him with an RBI ground out, 6-3, scoring Janish, making it a 6-2 Phils’ lead, while moving Taveras up to second base. Two batters later, after Jay Bruce was walked, Brandon Phillips cut the Phils’ lead down to 6-5 as he hits a three-run home run, his seventh home run of the year, scoring both Taveras and Bruce. The Phils would get a run back in the sixth, as, with two men on base, and one out, Utley hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier walked, had gone to third on Rollins’ single, beating the throw to third, as the Phils increased their lead to 7-5. The Phils would break the game open in the seventh. Ryan Howard started the inning off by hitting a lead-off home run, his tenth home run of the year, making it an 8-5 Phillies’ lead. Later in the inning, with two men on, and two men out, pinch hitter Pedro Feliz hits a two-run pinch hit double, scoring Shane Victorino, who had earlier doubled, and had gone to third on Ruiz’s ground out, and Dobbs, who had been intentionally walked and had moved up to second on Ruiz’s ground out, giving the Phils a 10-5 lead. Rollins then made it an 11-5 Phils’ lead, as he hits an RBI single, his fourth hit of the game, scoring Feliz, who beat the throw to the plate, as Rollins moved up to second on the throw. The Phils made it 12-5 in the eighth, as Ibanez hits a lead-off home run, his fifteenth home run of the season. That would be the final score as Sergio Escalona came in and pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.

Joe Blanton got the victory, although going only five innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and a walk, as he struck out four. His record is now 2-3 with a 7.11 ERA. Clay Condrey pitched a scoreless inning as he recorded his third hold, giving up only one hit and a walk. Scott Eyre, Chan Ho Park and Sergio Escalona each pitched a scoreless inning, giving up only a hit among them (Eyre) and three walks (Eyre (1) and Park (2)), while they struck out 2 (Eyre (1), Park (1)). Micah Owings took the lost as he went only three innings, giving up five runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out only three. Ramon Ramirez pitched two and a third innings, giving up  two runs on one hit and a walk, while striking out three. Daniel Ray Herrera pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on two hits. Jared Burton pitched an inning, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk, as he struck out two. Mike Lincoln pitched an inning, giving up a run on one hit, while striking out one. David Weathers pitched an inning, giving up no runs on one hit, as he struck out two.

The Phillies had fourteen hits, with Jimmy Rollins leading the way with four, followed by Chase Utley with three. Raul Ibanez followed them with two hits of his own. Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino, Greg Dobbs, Carlos Ruiz and Pedro Feliz had the other five Phils’ hits. The Phillies had nine extra-base hits in the game, five doubles and four home runs, all solo shots. Utley had four RBIs, followed by Ibanez with three. Feliz knocked in two runs, while Rollins, Howard and Dobbs knocked in a run apiece. The Phillies also had two stolen bases, one by Rollins, his 300th career stolen base as a Phil and one by Victorino. The Phillies, so far during their road trip, have gone 6-1, beating a good Reds team.

The Phillies (22-17, 1st) start interleague play tonight by going to New York City to face the Yankees (24-17, 3rd American League East) for the first time in their new ballpark, the New Yankees Stadium. The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Brett Myers (3-2, 4.50), who is coming off a win against the Nationals in the first game of a day-nght doubleheader on May 16, where he pitched seven very strong innings, giving up only two runs on three hits and two walks, while striking out eight, in the Phils’ 8-5 win. He will be looking to improve on his record, while trying to win his third start in a row. The Yankees will counter with A. J. Burnett (2-1, 5.02), who is coming off a no-decision against the Twins on May 17, where he went six and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs on six hits and six walks, while striking out seven, in the Yankees’ 3-2 win. He will be looking to increase his record. The Phillies will be going to the Yankees new home trying to do better than they did last season in interleague play.

On the eve of the 2008 World Series, let us take another look at the numbers.

It is now two days before the start of the 2008 World Series, which will be played at the home ball park of the American League Champion, the Tampa Bay Rays, Tropicana Field, on Wednesday, October 22, at 8:22 pm Eastern. The Tampa Bay Rays will be hosting the National League Champion, the Philadelphia Phillies, a team that has just won only its sixth pennant in its 125-years history. So, how did Charlie Manuel’s boys get here, on the verge of possibily winning the franchise’s second World Series crown? Let look at the numbers, shall we?

First, let’s see how well this team did month by month. 

March/April: 15-13

May: 17-12

June: 12-14

July: 15-10

August: 16-13

September: 17-8

Total: 92-70

As can be seen, the team has winning records in six of the seven months shown above, with their best month being September, when the team, with Ryan Howard’s resurging bat leading the way, would sprint their way to the National League Eastern Division pennant, and with their worst month being June, which coincided with their bad spell of Interleague play. More on that later.

Another thing that people have said is that you have to win series to win pennants, and the Phillies have also done that. At the end of the regular season, they have ended up with 27 series wins, 19 series loses and 6 series splits. Of their 27 series wins, they have won all of the games (sweep) in nine of them (Colorado (2), Atlanta (3), Washington (2), Los Angeles (NL) (1), Milwaukee (1)) for a total of 28 wins, while in their 19 series defeats they were swept only twice (Los Angeles (AL), Los Angeles (NL)) for a total of 7 loses. Of their 10 series wins during the last two months of the regular season, their most important ones would be the one against the Padres in San Diego as it would help to get the team back on track after having been swept by the Dodgers in Los Angeles; their home sweep of the Dodgers since it would help prove to the team that they can beat anybody at home; their win against the Mets in New York at the beginning of September as it would help the Phillies stay close to the Mets, especially after having lost the previous series in Washington; their four games sweep of the Brewers, as it would give the Phillies the option of winning either the Eastern Division or the Wild Card, putting them in the driver seat of the later as they challenged the fading Mets for the former; their final sweep of the Braves in Atlanta as it would help to build up momentum for; their series win against the Marlins in Miami, in which they would help to kill the Marlins’ own hope for the post-season; and lastly, their second sweep of the Nationals which would see them clinch their second straight divisonal crown on the last Saturday of the regular season, while the Sunday win by the rookies and the bench players would help them to maintain momentum going into the National League Divisional Series against Milwaukee.

Another thing that you need to do is to win games in your own division. And the Phillies have actually accomplished that, believe it or not. In fact, they have done pretty well against both teams in their own division and against the teams of the other two divisions within the National League:

National League East: 41-31

National League Central: 27-16

National League West: 20-12

Unfortunately, they have not done so well this year against teams from the American League, going 4-11 in Interleague play.

But, how well have they performed against the other clubs in the National League? The Phillies would end the regualr season with losing records against only two other NL teams, both of them being teams within their own division:

National League East:

Atlanta Braves: 14-4

Washington Nationals: 12-6

Florida Marlins: 8-10

New York Mets: 7-11

Total: 41-31

The Phillies’ best record in both the division and against the NL overall was their 14-4 record against the Braves, which included their three straight three games sweeps of the Braves’ in their own ball park, something that have not happened to the Braves since they were swept by the Chicago Cubs in 1909, when they were known as the Boston Doves. Their worst record in the division was their 7-11 record against the New York Mets, who won all but the last two series with the Phils, including their series spilt of late August in Philadelphia and the Phillies’ 2-1 series victory in New York in early September, including the spilt of a day/night Sunday doubleheader which would keep the Phillies close to the Mets before they would make their final move to win the Eastern Division pennant.

National League Central:

Milwaukee Brewers: 5-1

Cincinnati Reds: 5-3

St. Louis Cardinals: 5-4

Chicago Cubs: 4-3

Houston Astros: 4-3

Pittsburgh Pirates: 4-2

Total: 27-16

Against the teams of the National League Central Division, the Phillies would do rather well, winning most of their series against them. They would do best against the Brew Crew, spliting the series in Milwaukee and then sweeping them in an important August series in Philadelphia that would help propel the Phillies into the lead of the National League Wild Card race, on their way to their eventual winning of the National League Eastern Division.

National League West:

Colorado Rockies: 5-0

Los Angeles Dodgers: 4-4

Arizona Diamonbacks: 4-3

San Diego Padres: 4-2

San Francisco Giants: 3-3

Total: 20-12

Against the West, the Phillies would end the season with a 20-12 record, doing their best against the Rockies, as they would get even with the former National League Champions for losing the 2007 National League Divisional Series by sweeping them in five games, although they would do the home portion of the sweep against a wounded team, while doing their worst against both the Giants and the Dodgers, as they would spilt home series with both teams, winning the series at Citizens Bank Park (2-1 (Giants), 4-0 (Dodgers)), while losing the series on the road (1-2 (Giants), 0-4 (Dodgers)).

Last, and certainly not least, the Phillies did not do very well this year in Interleague play. Lets face facts, people, they stank, as they went 2-4 against two teams in the American League East, and 2-7 against three teams from the American League West, while going 1-5 against two of the elite teams in the American League (Boston and Los Angeles Angels):

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: 0-3

Boston Red Sox: 1-2

Oakland Athletics: 1-2

Texas Rangers: 1-2

Toronto Blue Jays: 1-2

Total: 4-11

With their record against American League teams in Interleague play, it should means that this team might have a hard time with the American League Champion Tampa Bay Ray. But the team that got creamed by the American League in May and June is not the same team that have finished crushing first the Milwaukee Brewers in the Divisional Series and then the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Championship Series, and with little help from either their set up man (Jimmy Rollins) or their biggest offensive threat (Ryan Howard) until the end of both series. This team appears to be a lot more confident now then they did when they faced the American League elite teams the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Angels at home back in June. That might make all the difference by the time the World Series is over.

The Phillies also had a very good home-road split. At Citizens Bank Park, they had a record of 48-33, where they were in a four way tie for the second best record for the National League, while they were 44-37 on the road, the best record in the National League. Overall, their 92-70 record was the second best in the National League, trailing only the Chicago Cubs (97-64) and the fifth best in the Majors. Those two records of success at both home and on the road should help the Phillies when they face the Rays starting 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.

The Phillies are shut out by Lester, tying the series between the Phils and the BoSox.

Jamie Moyer was only able to go five innings as he threw a lot of pitches tonight, 106 in fact, as the Phillies fall to the Red Sox, 3-0. The Red Sox would score the first runs of the game when Moyer threw a two-run home run to Coco Crisp, his sixth home run of the season, scoring Jason Varitek, who has earlier walked, to make it 2-0 BoSox. In the sixth, the Red Sox would increase their lead as Ryan Madson, who was pitching in relief of Moyer, would give up a RBI double to Julio Lugo, scoring Crisp, who has earlier singled, giving the Red Sox a 3-0 lead. That would be how the game would end, as Jon Lester, Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Papelbon would combine to seven hit the Phils, with Papelbon pitching a 1-2-3 ninth to record his twentieth save of the year.

Jamie Moyer would take the lost as he struggles to pitch five innings, giving up only two runs on four hits, and walking five, one of whom would later score. His record is now 7-4 with a 4.09 ERA. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits. Rudy Seanez would go an inning, giving up no runs on no hits, while Clay Condrey would also pitch an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Jon Lester would get the win, going seven shut out innings as he six hit the Phillies. Hideki Okajima would pitch an inning in relief, giving up no runs on one hit. Jonathan Papelbon would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth, as he records his twentieth save of the year.

The Phillies (42-31) will conclude their three games series with the World Champion Red Sox (45-29, 1st American League East) tomorrow afternoon at Citizens Bank Park for a Business Person’s Special. The game will start at 1:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (6-2, 3.43), who is coming off a victory against the Cardinals on June 13, where he would pitch seven innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on eight hits, in the Phillies’ 20-2 rout. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to help the Phillies win their first series since their sweep of the Braves. The Red Sox will counter with rookie Justin Masterson (3-1, 2.90), who is coming off his first major league lost as he was defeated by the Reds on June 13, where he would go six and two-thirds inning, giving up three earned runs on four hits, in the BoSox’s 3-1 lost. He will be trying to avoid getting his second major league lost while trying to see if he can keep the Phillies’ batters off-balanced.

The Phillies are presently leading the Marlins by two and a half games, although they are presently losing their game with the Mariners. The presently third place Mets are now trailing the Phils by six games, although they are presently trailing the Angels. The Braves, thanks to their lost to the Rangers, are still six and half games behind and in fourth place, The Phillies are presently hoping that the Marlins and the Mets will both lose their games so that the standings will remain the same before they get ready for tomorrow afternoon’s game.