Tagged: Andrew McCutchen

The Phils nightmare at PNC Park continue as they drop their fourth game in a row as they lose to the Pirates, 6-3.

The Phils have another nightmareish lost as they drop another series at PNC Park as they lose to the Bucos, 6-3.

The Phils take a quick 1-0 lead in the first as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Ryan Howard hits into an RBI force out, as Placido Polanco, who had earlier hit an infield single, is wiped out at second base, 4-6, as he take out shortstop Ronny Cedeno, allowing Howard to reach first base, and allowing Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier doubled, and then reached third on Polanco’s infield single, to score. The Pirates tied the game up at one-all in their half of the first as, with a man on third, and with one man out, Andrew McCutchen hits an RBI single, knocking in Jose Tabata, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on Xavier Paul’s sacrifice bunt, 1-3. Two batters later, with one man on, and now with two men out, Lyle Overbay hits an RBI double, scoring McCutchen, giving the Pirates a 2-1 lead. The Phils tied the game up at two-all in the fourth as, with runners on the corners, and with nobody out, Dom Brown hits an RBI ground out, 4-3, knocking in Shane Victorino, who had earlier singled, then went to third on Raul Ibanez’s single, while Ibanez, who had just singled, would move up to second base. The Pirates regained the lead in their half of the fourth as, with a runner on third, and with nobody out, Chris Snyder hits into an RBI ground out, 5-3, scoring Overbay, who had earlier tripled, as Ibanez fell down after getting his spikes caught in the grass, allowing the ball to go past him, giving the Pirates a 3-2 lead. The Pirates then made it a 4-2 lead as, with one man out, Brandon Wood hits a solo home run, his first home run of the year.  The Pirates added to their lead in the seventh as, with one man on, and with two men out, McCutchen hits an RBI double, knocking in pinch hitter Matt Diaz, who had earlier walked, then stole second base, giving the Pirates a 5-2 lead. The Pirates then made it a 6-2 lead in the eighth as, with a runner on third, and with two men out, Wood, who had earlier reached base on a force out, 3-6, wiping out at second Snyder, who had earlier walked, before going to second on Wilson Valdez’s throwing error to first, then reached third on Cedeno’s ground out, 4-3, scores on a Danys Baez wild pitch. The Phils made it a 6-3 Pirates’ lead as, with the bases loaded, via a ground-rule double by Ibanez, a walk by Carlos Ruiz, and an infield single by Valdez, with Ibanez stopping at third and with Ruiz at second, and with two men out, Polanco hits an RBI single, knocking in Ibanez, while moving both Ruiz and Valdez up a base, leaving the bases loaded. That would be the final score as Joel Hanrahan ended the game by getting Chase Utley to fly out to left for the final out.

Kyle Kendrick (3-4, 3.78) took the lost as he went five innings, giving up four runs on eight hits. Mike Zagurski pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out one.  J.C. Romero pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit and two walks, while striking out two. Danys Baez pitched an inning, as he gave up a run on a walk and a wild pitch. Charlie Morton (6-2, 2.52) got the win as he pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out five. Jose Veras pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Joel Hanrahan pitched an inning, giving up a run on three hits and a walk, while striking out a batter.

The Phils had nine hits in the game, with Placido Polanco (Singles, RBI) and Raul Ibanez (Single, Double) both leading the team with two hits apiece. Jimmy Rollins (Double, before being taken out of the game with an injury), Wilson Valdez (Single), Chase Utley (Single), Shane Victorino (Single) and Dom Brown (Single, RBI), had the other five Phils’ hits. Ryan Howard had the other Phil RBI on a force out, as the offense is once again not getting a key hit to get them going.

The Phils (34-24, 1st East) will conclude their series with the Pirates (28-29, 4th Central) in a game already in progress.

Despite a so-so performance from Roy Oswalt, the Phils win their next to last spring training game, defeating the Pirates, 8-5.

In spite of a subpar pitching performance by Roy Oswalt, the Phils defeat the Pirates, 8-5, winning their next to last spring training game.

The Pirates took the lead in the first as, with two men on, and with one man out, Lyle Overbay hits a two-run double, scoring Jose Tabata, who had earlier walked, went to second base on Neil Walker’s single, then went to third on Andrew McCutchen’s ground out, 5-3, and Walker, who had earlier singled, then went to third on McCutchen’s ground out, giving the Pirates a 2-0 lead. The Phils got a run back in their half of the first as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Luis Castillo, who had earlier singled, then went to third base on Jimmy Rollins’ single, would score on Pirates’ catcher Ryan Doumit’s throwing error to second, as Rollins, who had just singled, successfully stole second base, before moving up to third on the error, cutting the Pirates lead to 2-1. The Phils tied the score up at two-all in the second as Ben Francisco hits a lead-off home run, his fifth home run of the spring. The Phils later took the lead as, with the bases loaded, via Pete Orr being hit by the pitch, a walk to Carlos Ruiz, moving Orr up to second base, a sacrifice bunt by Roy Oswalt, moving both runners up a base, and Shane Victorino being hit by a pitch, and with one man out, Orr would score on a Ronny Cedeno fielding error of a Castillo grounder, allowing Orr to score, and both Ruiz and Victorino to move up a base, leaving the bases loaded, while giving the Phils a 3-2 lead. One batter later, the Phils made it a 4-2 lead as Rollins hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Ruiz, while Victorino would move up to third. The Phils would make it a 5-2 lead in the fourth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI single, knocking in Castillo, who was safe at first on a force out, 3-6, as Victorino was wiped out at second base, who, in turn, had reached first on an earlier force out, 4-6, as Oswalt, who had an infield single, was wiped out at second, then stole second base, while sending Rollins, who had been hit by the pitch, over to third base. One batter later, the Phils took a 6-2 lead as Raul Ibanez hits an RBI single, scoring Rollins, while sending Howard up to second base. The Pirates would cut the lead in the fifth as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Walker hits an RBI single, knocking in pinch hitter Josh Rodriguez, who had earlier walked, then moved to second base on Tabata’s walk, making it a 6-3 Phils’ lead, before Tabata, who had just walked, would also score because of a Francisco fielding error as he let the ball get past him for a two-base error, making it a 6-4 Phils’ lead, while allowing Walker to get to third base. One batter later, the Pirates cut the lead to 6-5 as McCutchen hits an RBI single, scoring Walker. The Phils would get a run back in the sixth as, with runners on the corners, and with nobody out, Rollins hits into an RBI ground out, 4-3, scoring, Victorino, who had earlier walked, then went to third on a hit and run single by Castillo, giving the Phils a 7-5 lead, while sending Castillo, who had earlier singled, up to second base. The Phils added an insurance run in the eighth as, with the bases loaded, via singles by Erik Kratz and John Mayberry, Jr., with Kratz stopping at second base, Kratz and Mayberry both moving up a base on Wilson Valdez’s ground out, 4-3, and Michael Martinez being safe at first on second baseman’s Walker’s fielding error, and with one man out, Ross Gload hits an RBI ground out, 6-1, scoring Kratz, while sending Mayberry to third and Martinez up to second base, giving the Phils an 8-5 lead. That would be the final score as Michael Stutes recorded his first save of the spring as he had an easy ninth inning.

Roy Oswalt (1-2, 6.11) got the win as he pitched four innings, plus four batters, as he gave up five runs on five hits and four walks, while he struck out four. J.C. Romero recorded his third spring hold as he pitched an inning, striking out a batter. Michael Herndon recorded his third spring hold as he pitched an inning and two-thirds, giving up a hit and a walk. Antonio Bastardo received his first hold of the spring as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Ryan Madson recorded his fourth spring hold as he pitched an inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Michael Stutes recorded his first spring save as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk, while striking out three. Ross Ohlendorf (0-5, 9.82) took the loss as he pitched four innings, giving up six runs, four of which were earned, on seven hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Michael Dubee pitched a scoreless inning, striking out a batter. Chris Leroux pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on one hit and a walk. Garret Olsen pitched two-thirds of an inning. Jose Veras pitched a scoreless inning, strking out a batter. Evan Meek pitched an inning, giving up an unearned run on two hits.

The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Luis Castillo leading the team with two hits, both singles, while knocking in a run. Jimmy Rollins, (Single, 2 RBIs), Ryan Howard (Single, RBI), Raul Ibanez (Single, RBI), Ben Francisco (Home Run, RBI), Roy Oswalt (Single), Pete Orr (Double), John Mayberry, Jr. (Single) and Erik Kratz (Single), had the other eight Phils’ hits. Ross Gload knocked in a run on a ground out, while the other run came in on a Pirates error.

The Phils’ spring training record is now 21-13.

In other news, the Phils announced that Ben Francisco will be their regular right fielder, although he will be in a platoon with Ross Gload and John Mayberry, Jr., but being given most of the at-bats. Also, the Phils announced that they will be placing Brad Lidge on the disabled list because of a rotator cuff strain of his right shoulder. He will be out until at least mid-May. The Phils will be using Jose Contreras as their closer until Lidge is able to return, and leaving Ryan Madson as their eighth inning specialist. Finally, Chase Utley was yesterday moving around on his legs, fielding ground balls. Hopefully, this will be a sign that his legs are starting to get better. Keeping fingers cross, as I don’t expect to see him before the all-star break, if he doesn’t do anything to aggravate his knees. 

The third straight good pitching performance by the starters is wasted as the batters once again refuse to hit as the Phils lose to the Pirates, 2-0.

Jamie Moyer’s most recent good performance is ruined as the offense is once again acting cold as the Phils lose for the second straight time to the Pirates, 2-0.

The Pirates took the lead in the fourth as, with the bases loaded, via a lead-off single by Andrew McCutchen, an infield single by Ryan Doumit, sending McCutchen up to second base, and a walk to Bobby Crosby, moving both McCutchen and Doumit up a base, and with two men out, Andy LaRoche hits an infield single to Phils’ starter Jamie Moyer, who then threw it wide of first, allowing both McCutcheon and Doumit to score, giving the Pirates a 2-0 lead, while Crosby would stop at third and LaRoche end up at second. The Phils threathen to score in the sixth as, with runners on the corners, via a double by Raul Ibanez, who then moved up to third on a Ross Ohlendorf wild pitch and an intentional walk to Ryan Howard, and with two men out, Ben Francisco was rubbed of a hit as Lastings Milledge made a sliding catch of his falling fly ball for the final out. That would be it, as the Phils would make no more threats during the night, with Octavio Dotel putting them down, 1-2-3 in the ninth for his eighteenth save of the season.

Jamie Moyer took the lost as he pitches six innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits and two walks, while he strikes out eight. His record is now 9-7 with a 4.13 ERA. David Herndon and J.C. Romero pitches two 1-2-3 innings, striking out two batters, one batter each. Ross Ohlendorf gets the win as he pitches seven innings, giving up no runs on five hits and one walk, striking out eight. His record is now 1-6 with a 4.39 ERA. Joel Hanrahan records his twelfth hold, as he pitches a 1-2-3 inning. Octavio Dotel records his eighteenth save of the season as he also pitches a 1-2-3 inning.

The Phils, for the second straight game, had only five hits, with Wilson Valdez leading the team with two hits, both singles. Raul Ibanez, Ryan Howard and Dane Sardinha had the other three Phils’ hits, with Ibanez’s hit being a double and Howard and Sardinha’s hits being singles, as the Phils are shut out for the eighth time this season. Guys, please, start playing some small ball, else this is going to be a long couple of months until Chase Utley gets back. You guy can do it, I know you can, you guys just don’t want to do it. Swallow your blasted prides and do it!!!

The Phils (41-37, 3rd NL East) continue their long death mar…uhm, I mean, four-game series with the Pirates (29-51, 5th NL Central) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at PNC Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (4-3, 4.88), who is coming off a lost against the Reds on June 28, as he went six and a third innings, giving up five runs on eight hits, while striking out four, in the Phils’ 7-3 lost. In his last three starts, his record is 1-1 with a no-decision, as he pitched seventeen and a third innings, giving up eleven runs, ten of which were earned, on eighteen hits and four walks, while he struck out eight. He will be trying to overcome his last two bad starts. The Pirates will counter with Paul Maholm (5-6, 3.98), who is coming off a win against the Cubs on June 28, as he pitched eight innings, giving up a run on seven hits, while striking out two, in the Pirates’ 2-1 win. In his last three starts, he went 1-2, as he pitched fifteen and two-thirds innings, giving up twelve runs, ten of which were earned, on twenty-one hits and six walks, while he struck out seven. He hopes to make it four loses in a row for the Phils. The Phils’ bats hope to come alive to avoid losing the weekend series to the last place Pirates.

A complete game effort by Roy Halladay is wasted as the Phils lose to the Pirates, 2-1.

A nine-hit complete game effort by their ace Roy Halladay is wasted as the Phils’ offense is muzzled by Pirates’ pitching as the Phils lose to the Bucos, 2-1.

The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the second as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Andy LaRoche hits an RBI double, knocking in Ryan Doumit, who had gotten on base earlier with a double of his own. The Phils would tie it up at one-all in the fifth as, with the bases loaded, via singles to Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth, moving Howard up to second base, and a walk to Carlos Ruiz, and with one man out, Juan Castro, who is playing second base in place of the sick Chase Utley, hits an RBI single, scoring Howard, before Jayson Werth is gun down at home plate by center fielder Andrew McCutchen, 8-2, for the inning’s second out, while Ruiz moves up to third, and Castro goes to second on the throw to the plate. The Pirates then retook the lead in the sixth as, with a runner on second, and with one man out, Garrett Jones hits an RBI single, scoring Lastings Milledge, who had earlier singled, and then went to second on a McCutchen ground out, 4-3, as Milledge was running on an attempted hit and run, giving the Pirates a 2-1 lead. That would be the final score as Phils’ starter Roy Halladay would not allow any more runs to score as he pitches a complete game, before Pirates’ reliever Octavio Dotel pitches a 1-2-3 ninth, recording his eighth save of the season, by getting Ruiz to fly out to left to end the ballgame.

Roy Halladay took the lost as he pitches a complete game, giving up two runs on nine hits and a walk, while striking out six. His record is now 6-2 with an ERA of 1.64. Zach Duke gets the win as he pitches six innings, giving up a run on six hits and two walks, while striking out five. His record is now 3-4 with a 5.08 ERA. Evan Meek records his third hold of the year as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a walk, while striking out one batter. Joel Hanrahan pitches a 1-2-3 inning, recording his eighth hold of the season, as he strikes out a batter. Octavio Dotel records his eighth save of the year as he pitches a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out a batter.

The Phils had only six hits in the game, with Ryan Howard getting three of their hits, all singles, rasing his batting average to .311. Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth and Juan Castro had the other three Phils’ hits, all singles, with Castro knocking in the lone Phil run.

The Phils (24-14, 1st East) continue their home stand with a short two-game series with the Cubs (18-22, 3rd Central). The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Jamie Moyer (5-2, 4.57), who is coming off a win against the Brewers on May 14, as he went six and a third innings, giving up four runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out three, in the Phils’ 9-5 win. He will be going for his fourth straight win. The Cubs will counter with Tom Gorzelanny (1-4, 3.60), who is coming off a no-decision against the Pirates on May 14, as he went five innings, giving up five runs on nine hits and four walks, while striking out seven, in the Cubs’ 10-6 lost. He will be trying for his first win on the road. The Phils will be trying to recover from yesterday’s lost, hoping to give Jamie some more runs support.

The Phils crush the Pirates, 12-2, for their fourth straight win.

The Phils’ offense scored early and often, as they crushed their cross-state rival, the Pirates, 12-2, increasing their present winning streak to four game while increasing their lead in the NL East to five games over both the Nationals and the Marlins.

The Pirates took a quick 1-0 lead as their lead-off man, Delwyn Young, hit a lead-off home run, his first home run of the year, into the right field seats. The Phils would quickly tie the game up at one-all in their half of the first as Jimmy Rollins, who was returning from a calf injury, hits into an RBI ground out, 3-1, knocking in Shane Victorino, who had earlier singled, stole second base, and then moved up to third on a Placido Polanco ground out, 4-3. The Phils then proceeded to bust the game wide open in the bottom of the third. With the bases loaded, via a single to a returning Carlos Ruiz, who was also returning from an injury, Victorino being hit by a pitch, sending Ruiz to second, and a Polanco single, moving both Ruiz and Victorino up a base, and with two men out, Ryan Howard hits a two-run single, knocking in both Ruiz and Victorino, giving the Phils a 3-1 lead, while sending Polanco up to second base. Jayson Werth then follows with a three-run bomb to right, his eighth home run of the season, scoring Polanco and Howard before him, making it a 6-1 Phils’ lead. The Pirates would make it 6-2 Phils in the fifth as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Young hits into an RBI ground out, 4-2, knocking in Ronny Cedeno, who had earlier doubled, and had gone to third on a Akinori Iwamura ground out, 1-3. The Phils would get that run back in the bottom of the sixth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Raul Ibanez, who had earlier singled, and had gone to second on a soft grounder by Greg Dobbs, 5-3, scored on center fielder Andrew McCutchen’s fielding error of a Kyle Kendrick fly ball, giving the Phils a 7-2 lead. The Phils added to their lead in the seventh as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Werth hits a RBI double, just missing another home run, knocking in Rollins, who had earlier doubled, and had moved up to third on Howard’s single, making it 8-2 Phils, while sending Howard, who had just singled, on to third base. The Phils would then score their final runs in the eight as, with the bases loaded, via a single to Victorino, and then walks to both Polanco and Rollins, and with two men out, Howard hits a grand-slam home run to deep center field, his seventh home run of the season, scoring Victorino, Polanco and Rollins before him, giving the Phils a 12-2 lead. The Phils then gave the ball to Antonio Bastardo, who proceeded to pitch a 1-2-3 ninth, ending the game by getting Ryan Doumit to fly out to center for the final out.

 Kyle Kendrick gets the win as he pitches eight strong innings, giving up just two runs on five scattered hits and a walk, while he strikes out four. His record is now 2-1 with a reduced ERA of 5.24. Antonio Bastrado pitches a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out two. Charlie Morton took the lost as he lasts only four innings, giving up six runs on six hits and a hit batter, while he strikes out three. His record is now 1-7 with an ERA of 9.68. Jeff Karstens pitches two and a third innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on three hits, while he strikes out two. Jack Taschner pitches an inning and two-thirds, giving up four runs on four hits and two walks.

The Phils’ offense had thirteen hits in the game, with Ryan Howard leading the squad with three hits, two singles and a grand-slam home run, knocking in six runs, while scoring two, as he raised his average to .299. Shane Victorino, a returning Jimmy Rollins and Jayson Werth follow with two hits apiece, with both of Victorino’s hits being singles, as he scores three runs, Rollins’ hits being a single and a double, scoring two runs, while he knocks in one on a ground out, and Werth’s hits being a double and a three-run home run, knocking in four runs. Placido Polanco, Raul Ibanez, Greg Dobbs and a returning Carlos Ruiz had the other four Phils’ hits, all singles, while the other Phil run came in on a Pirates’ error.

The Phils (24-13, 1st East) will conclude their short two-game series with the Pirates (16-22, 4th Central) tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern, weather permitting. The Phils will send to the mound their ace Roy Halladay (6-1, 1.59), who is coming off a no-decision against the Rockies on May 12, where he went just six and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs on ten hits and two walks, while striking out four, in the Phils’ 4-3 extra-innings lost. Doc will be trying to regain his form so that he can record his seventh win of the season. The Pirates will try to counter with Zach Duke (2-4, 5.56), who is coming off a lost against the Reds on May 12, as he went only five innings, giving up five runs on nine hits and a walk, while striking out only two, in the Pirates’ 5-0 lost. He will be trying to keep the Pirates in the game against the Phils’ explosive offense. The Phils will try to end the short two-game series with a two game sweep.  

Phils took a tough lost as a ninth inning rally ends up being a Brad Lidge blown save as they lose to the Bucos, 6-4.

The Phils come back in their half of the ninth to take a 4-3 lead, only to watch it disappear in the bottom of the ninth as Brad Lidge commits his league leading ninth blown save of the year as the Phils lose to lowly Pirates, 6-4. Their lead in the NL East remains at seven games as the Braves lost, while the Marlins win.

The Phils took a quick 1-0 lead as Jimmy Rollins lead-off the game by hitting the first pitch into right center field for a lead-off home run, his sixteenth home run of the year. The Pirates would tie it up at one-all in the second as Ryan Doumit hits a lead-off home run of his own, his eighth home run of the season. The Phils regain the lead in the third as, Rollins hits his second lead-off home run of the night, also off the first pitch, his seventeenth home run of the season, giving the Phils a 2-1 lead. In the sixth, the Pirates took the lead as, with a runner on base, and with two men out, Steve Pearce hits a two-run home run, knocking in Doumit, who had earlier walked, giving the Pirates a 3-2 lead. In the ninth, the Phils would tie the game up at three-all as, with one man on, and with one out, pinch hitter Ben Francisco hits an RBI double, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier doubled. Two batters later, with a runner on second, and now with two men out, Shane Victorino hits an RBI triple, scoring Francisco, and giving the Phils a 4-3 lead. In the bottom of the ninth, the Phils gave the ball to their closer Brad Lidge, who was pitching for the fourth straight game, to end the game. Sadly, that did not happen. Luis Cruz started the inning off with a single. Cruz would then move up to second on a wild pitch. Pinch runner Brian Bixler then replaces Cruz at second base. Pinch hitter Brandon Moss then hits an RBI single to right, that Jayson Werth at first had a problem handling, before he threw it to the plate, too late to get Bixler, who, at one point, had a late start, before scoring the tying run, making it a four-four ballgame, as Lidge blew his ninth save of the season. On the play, Moss would move up to second base on Werth’s error. Andrew McCutchen then came to the plate, before he hit a 1-0 pitch into the center field seats, his eighth home run of the season, as he gave the Pirates the 6-4 walk-off win, as he scored Moss before him.

Joe Blanton received a no-decision as he had another quality start, as he gave up three runs on six hits and two walks, while he struck out seven, in six innings of work. Tyler Walker pitched two scoreless innings, giving up just two walks, as he struck out two. Brad Lidge took the lost as he blew his ninth save of the season, as he faced three batters, getting none of them out, as he gave up three runs on three hits and a wild pitch. His record is now 0-6 with an ERA of 7.33. Ross Ohlendorf also received a no-decision, as he pitched six and a third innings, giving up two runs on five hits and three walks, as he struck out six. Joel Hanrahan converted his eighth hold as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, striking out a batter. Phil Dumatrait recorded his first hold, as he also pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit. Jesse Chavez pitched a third of an inning as he recorded his eleventh hold, striking out a batter. Matt Chapps blew his fourth save of the year before getting the win as he pitched an inning, giving up two runs on three hits. His record is now 3-7 with an ERA of 6.38.

The Phils had nine hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley leading the team with two hits each, with both of Rollins’ hits being solo home runs and one of Utley’s being a double. Shane Victorino, Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz, Eric Bruntlett and Ben Francisco had the Phils’ other five hits, with Victorino’s hits being a triple, knocking in a run, while Howard, Ruiz, Bruntlett and Francisco’s hits were all doubles, with Francisco knocking in a run. All but one of the Phils hits last night were for extra-bases, although the Phils did not get a key hit until the top of ninth, when they got two doubles and a triple to knock in what was thought to be the winning run, until Brad Lidge came in and lost the ballgame on six pitches. Charlie, Charlie, Charlie, when are you going to pull the trigger on Lidge? Yes, he helped the team win the World Series last season, but he is a disaster this year, and he could become a major detriment to the team’s chances of going deep into the playoffs this season, if something isn’t done.

The Phillies (72-51, 1st National League East) continue their three-games series with the Pirates (52-71, 6th National League Central) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at PNC Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils starter will be Cole Hamels (7-8, 4.78), who is coming off a lost against the Mets on August 21, where he went only five innings, giving up four runs on ten hits, while striking out six, in the Phils’ 4-2 lost. The Phils are hoping that he can come around against the Bucos. The Pirates will counter with Paul Maholm (7-7, 4.74), who is coming off a win against the Brewers on August 19, where he went seven and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on eight hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Pirates’ 3-1 win. He will be trying to improve his overall record. The Phillies plan to put what happened to them last night behind them, while hoping that Hamels can regain his stuff while pitching against the Pirates.

The Phils enter the All-Star break on a high note as they complete the sweep of the Pirates, 5-2.

A five-run first inning and a strong performance by J.A. Happ was more than enough for the Phils to complete the three game sweep of the Pirates, 5-2. They end the home stand with a 9-1 record, one of the best home stands in the team’s long history.

The Phils took a quick 1-0 lead as, with the bases loaded, via a walk to Jimmy Rollins, a single by Shane Victorino, moving Rollins up to scond base, and a single by Chase Utley, moving both Rollins and Victorino up a base, with nobody out, as Ryan Howard hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Rollins, while moving up a base both Victorino and Utley. Two batters later, with the bases reloaded, thanks to a walk to Jayson Werth, and now two men out, Pedro Feliz broke the game open early, as he hits a grand slam home run, his sixth home run of the year, scoring Victorino, Utley and Werth before him, giving the Phils a 5-0 lead. That would turn out to be all the runs that the Phils would need, as Pirates’ pitching would keep them off the scoreboard for the next seven innings, while J.A. Happ would dominate the Bucos during his seven innings of work, helped by some double plays. The Pirates would get a run across in the sixth as, with one man on, and one out, Freddy Sanchez hits an RBI double, scoring Andrew McCutchen, making it 5-1 Phils. After Madson pitched an easy eighth inning, J.C. Romero was given the ball in the ninth. Garrett Jones greeted him with a lead-off home run, his fifth home run of the season, making it a 5-2 Phils’ lead. But that would be the best that the Pirates would be able to do, as Romero would strike out the next two batters, and then get the last batter to hit into a 1-3 ground out to end the game.

J.A. Happ got the victory as he pitched seven very strong innings, giving up only one run on four hits and two walks, as he struck out four. His record is now 6-0 with an ERA of 2.90. Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just two hits. J.C. Romero pitched the ninth, giving up a run on one hit, while striking out two. Virgil Vasquez took the lost as he lasted only one and a third innings, giving up five runs on four hits and three walks, while striking out only one. His record is now 1-3 with a 6.52 ERA. Jeff Karstens, Evan Meek, Donald Veal and Joel Hanrahan would combine for six and two-thirds shut out innings, giving up just two hits, (Meek (1), Veal (1)) and a walk (Kerstens), while striking out six batters (Kerstens (2), Meek (1), Veal (1)).

The Phils had only six hits in the game, with Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz leading the way with two hits a piece, with one of Pedro’s hits being a grand slam home run. Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino had the other two Phils’ hit. Besides Feliz’s four RBIs, Ryan Howard knocked in the Phils’ other run via a sac fly. The Phils now go into the All-Star break ten games over .500 (48-38), with the third best record in the National League and four games ahead of the second place Marlins in the NL East.