Tagged: Andrew Miller

The Phils come out swinging in the first game of a twi-light double-bill, defeating the fish 9-3. Magic number is now five.

The Phils’ offense came out swinging and using small ball until finally breaking the game wide open in the eighth as they defeated the Marlins, 9-3. Their magic number is now down to five (Braves) while they shrink their magic number against the Marlins down to four.

The Phils took a quick 1-0 lead in the second as, with two men on, and with one man out, Miguel Cairo hits into an RBI ground out, 6-3, scoring Ryan Howard who had earlier singled, went to second on Jayson Werth’s walk and moved over to third on Raul Ibanez’s ground out, 3-unassisted. The Phils would increase their lead in the third as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Howard hit into a force out, 4-6, bringing home Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier singled, and would move on to third on Shane Victorino’s single, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead, as Victorino was thrown out at second for the inning’s second out. The Phils then made it 4-0 in the fifth as, with runners on second and third, and with two men out, Werth hits a two-run single, scoring Victorino, who had earlier singled, moved up to second on Chase Utley’s single, then stole third, and Utley, who had earlier singled, and stole second as part of a double steal. The Phils then held on to their lead as Joe Blanton kept the Marlins off the board, giving up only two hits and two walks, while striking out nine. The Phils then broke the game wide open in the eighth inning. Ibanez made it a 5-0 Phils’ lead with a solo home run, his thirty-second home run of the season, with one man out. The next two batters, Cairo and Paul Bako, then followed with singles, with Cairo going on to third base, while Bako would go to second on the throw. Pinch hitter Matt Stairs then loaded the bases by taking an intentional walk. Rollins then hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Cairo and making it a 6-0 Phils’ lead. After Victorino walked, reloading the bases, as Bako moved up to third, and pinch runner Eric Bruntlett moved over to second, before Bako scored and Bruntlett continued on to third as ball four to Victorino ended up being a wild pitch, giving the Phils a 7-0 lead. After Utley walked to load up the bases yet again, as Victorino moved up to second, Howard hits a two-run single, knocking in both Bruntlett and Victorino, making it 9-0 Phils, while sending Utley over to third, as the Phils batted around. The Marlins would then score in their half of the eighth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Hanley Ramirez hits an RBI double, knocking in Chris Coghlan, who had earlier singled and had gone up to second on Nick Johnson’s walk, making it a 9-1 Phils’ lead, while moving Johnson over to second base. Two batters later, now with two men out, Dan Uggla hits a two-run single, knocking in both Johnson and Ramirez, cutting the Phils’ lead to 9-3. But, that would be it as Clay Condrey would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth.

Joe Blanton took the win as he pitched seven shut out innings, giving up only two hits and two walks, while striking out nine. His record is now 11-7 with a 3.82 ERA. Sergio Escalona pitched a third of an inning, giving up three runs on two hits and a walk. Tyler Walker pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out a batter. Clay Condrey pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Josh Johnson took the lost as he went just five innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out ten. His record is now 15-5 with a 3.12 ERA. Burke Badenhop pitched two and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs on three hits and two walks, while striking out five. Andrew Miller pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on one hit, three walks and a wild pitch, while striking out one. Cristhian Martinez pitched a scoreless inning.

The Phils had eleven hits in the game, with Shane Victorino, Ryan Howard and Miguel Cairo each leading the team with two hits each, with one of Cairo’s hits being a double. Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez and Paul Bako had the other five Phils’ hit, with Ibanez’s hit being a solo home run. Besides Ibanez’s RBI, Howard knocked in three of the Phils’ runs, Rollins knocked in one with a sac fly, Cairo brought one home with a ground out and Werth knocked home two with a single. The Phils’ offense used small ball to their advantage in the first game of the twin-bill.

The Phils (88-61, 1st) will continue their three-games series with the Marlins (80-71, 3rd) with the second game of their doubleheader. The second game is already in progress. The Phils will send to the mound the Marlins killer Jamie Moyer (12-9, 5.05), who last pitched on September 12 against the Mets, receiving a no-decision as he went seven innings, giving up five runs on seven hits, in the Phils’ 10-9 lost. He will be trying to lead the Phils to a doubleheader sweep. The Marlins will oppose him with Anibal Sanchez (2-7, 4.50), who is coming off a lost against the Reds on September 17, as he pitched only five innings, giving up three runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out seven, in the Marlins’ 3-2 lost. He will be trying to keep the fish from being swept in the doubleheader. The Phils will be trying to sweep the twin-bill, to place the Marlins on the brink of elimination.

Happ wins his seventh game as the Phils increased their lead over the Marlins to seven games as the Phils win a shutout, 5-0.

J.A. Happ once again pitch seven strong innings, as he and the bullpen shut down the fish once again as the Phils defeat the Marlins, 5-0. The win increase the Phils lead to seven games in the NL East, while they increase their winning streak to a season high eight games.

The game would start with a very wild first inning. Jimmy Rollins lead off the game with a triple. But, with Shane Victorino batting, and with the infield back, except at third base, Rollins made a mistake by running towards home on Victorino’s grounder, as the ball went to the Marlins’ third baseman Emilio Bonifacio, who then threw home, where Rollins is tagged out by the catcher for the first out of the inning, 5-2, while Victorino would be safe at first on the fielder’s choice. Victorino would then go to second on Braves’ starter Andrew Miller’s throwing error on a pick-off attempt. After Chase Utley flied out to center for the inning’s second out, first Raul Ibanez and then Jayson Werth walked, loading the bases, with two men out. But Pedro Feliz would end the inning by hitting into a force out, 6-5, rubbing out Werth at second base. The Marlins, after dodging the bullet, tried to take the lead in their half of the first. Bonifacio lead off the inning with a double. Jeremy Hermida was then hit by the pitch, putting two men on, with nobody out. Hanley Ramirez then flied out to center for the inning’s first out, as Bonifacio tagged up and moved to third base, putting runners on the corners. Jorge Cantu then flied out to short right field for the second out of the inning, with Bonifacio deciding not to test Werth’s arm. The next batter, Dan Uggla, then ended the inning by grounding out, 6-3, for the final out, leaving it a 0-0 game. The Phils then took the lead in the second, as, with the bases loaded via an infield single to Phils’ starter J.A. Happ, a single to Rollins and an infield single to Victorino, and two men out, Utley is hit by the pitch, forcing in Happ, and giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, as both Rollins and Victorino moved up a base. The next batter, Ibanez, followed with a two-run double, knocking in both Rollins and Victorino, making it a 3-0 Phils lead, while sending Utley to third. The Phils would increase their lead in the third as, with a runner on second, and two men out, Rollins hits an RBI double, knocking in Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier walked, and had moved up to second on Happ’s sacrifice bunt, making it a 4-0 Phillies’ lead. Happ would then keep the Marlins at bay, before running into trouble in the sixth, as the Marlins loaded up the bases on singles by Cantu and Uggla, and a fielding error by Feliz on a Cody Ross ground ball, with nobody out. But Happ soon got himself out of the inning. First, he got Phillies’ killer Ronny Paulino to pop out to shortstop, 6-unassisted, under the Infield Fly Rule for the first out of the inning. He then struck out Brett Carroll swinging for the second out, and then got pinch hitter Wes Helms to strike out looking to end the threat, keeping it a 4-0 Phils’ lead. The Phils would then add to their lead in the ninth as, with the bases loaded again, via an Utley single, a walk to Ibanez and a walk to Feliz, which would move pinch runner John Mayberry, Junior, up to second base, while Utley went to third, and two men out, Utley would score on a wild pitch that would hit Paulino’s shin guard and go up the third base line, making it a 5-0 Phils’ lead. That would be the final score as Scott Eyre and Brad Lidge would combine for a scoreless ninth inning.

J.A. Happ got the win as he pitched seven shut out innings, giving up five hits and a walk, while striking out four. His record is now 7-0 with an ERA of 2.68. Ryan Madson pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two hits, while striking out one. J.C. Romero pitched a third of an inning, collecting his sixth hold as he got out the only man he would face. Scott Eyre and Brad Lidge would combine for one scoreless inning, giving up only one hit (Eyre). Andrew Miller took the lost as he pitched just two and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs on six hits and three walks. His record is now 3-5 with a 4.81 ERA. Brian Sanches, Burke Badenhop, Luis Ayala and Renyel Pinto would combine for five and a third scoreless innings of relief, giving up only one hit (Sanches) and two walks (Badenhop, Pinto), while striking out seven (Sanches (3), Badenhop (3), Ayala (1)). Dan Meyer pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on a hit and a walk. Brendan Donnelly pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two walks and a wild pitch.

The Phils had eight hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins leading the way with three hits, a single, a double and a triple, just one hit shy of hitting the cycle, while knocking in a run as he raised his batting average up to .236. Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez, Jayson Werth and J.A. Happ had the other five hits, with Ibanez’s hit being a two-run double. Besides Ibanez’s two RBIs and Rollins’ one RBI, Utley knocked in the Phils’ other RBI. The offense seems to be doing everything right now, while starting pitching, outside of the team’s ace Cole Hamels, seems to be now throwing quality starts, thus giving the bullpen some much needed rest, as the trading deadline draws near.

The Phillies (51-38, 1st National League East) start a three-games home stand with the Cubs (47-43, 2nd National League Central). The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin tonight at 7:05 pm. The Phils’ starter will be Rodrigo Lopez (1-0, 3.18), who is coming off a no-decision against the Reds on July 8, as he left the game because of injuries, as he gave up two runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out four, in five innings of work, in the Phils’ 3-2 win. He will be going for his second win of the season since returning to the majors. The Cubbies will counter with Ted Lilly (9-6, 3.18), who is coming off a win against the Cardinals on July 11, when he went eight strong innings, giving up a run on four hits and a walk, while striking out four, in the Cubs’ 5-2 win. He will be trying for his tenth win of the season. The Phils will be trying to show that they can continue their present winning ways at home, while improving their record against Central Division teams.

Brad Lidge is able to stop a Marlins’ rally in the ninth, preserving the win for Joe Blanton, as the Phils defeat the fish, 5-3.

Joe Blanton pitched seven shut out innings, which was almost wasted in the ninth until Brad Lidge was able to come in and shut the door, redeeming himself for his two blown weekend saves as the Phils held on the defeat the pesky fish, 5-3.

The Phils took the lead in the first, as, with the bases loaded, via Jimmy Rollins reaching first on a Hanley Ramirez’s throwing error, a double by Shane Victorino, sending Rollins over to third base, and a walk to Chase Utley, and nobody out, Ryan Howard received an RBI walk, forcing in Rollins, giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead, while moving both Victorino and Utley up a base. One batter later, Raul Ibanez would make it 2-0 Phils as he hits a sacrifice fly, for the inning’s first out, scoring Victorino from third, while sending Utley on to third. After a wild pitch sends Howard to second, and Jayson Werth strikes out for the inning’s second out, Pedro Feliz hits a two outs RBI single, scoring Utley, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead, while sending Howard over to third base. The Phils would add to their lead in the sixth as, with a runner on first, and two men out, Victorino hits an RBI double, scoring Rollins, who had been safe at first on a force out, 5-4, as Phils’ starter Joe Blanton, who had reached base earlier on a walk, was out at second, but not before disrupting Marlins’ second baseman Dan Uggla’s throw to first base with a take-out slide, making it 4-0 Phils. In the seventh, after Joe Blanton had finished his strong effort by striking out his eleventh Marlin batter, the Phils added an insurance run, as with one man on and two men out, Feliz hits an RBI double, scoring Werth, who had earlier doubled. That would turn out to be important in the top of the ninth. With one man out, Chad Durbin walks Uggla, putting a man on first. Cody Ross follows with a single, putting runners on first and second, as Uggla moved up a base. Chris Coghlan then walks, loading the bases. Charlie Manuel then took out Durbin and brought in Scott Eyre to face pinch hitter Ross Gload. Gload hits a grounder to first, that was scooped up by Howard. The play should’ve ended the ballgame with a double play, 3-6-3, but instead, Howard threw the ball pass Rollins, thus allowing both Uggla and Ross to score, cutting the Phils’ lead down to 5-2, while sending Coghlan all the way to third, and Gload to second, with still one man out. Manuel then came back out and called for Brad Lidge. He then walks Emilio Bonifacio, reloading the bases. Lidge then got Jeremy Hermida to ground out, 3-1, for the inning’s second out, while Coghlan scored, making it a 5-3 Phils’ lead, while sending Gload to third and Bonifacio to second. Lidge then ended the game by striking out Wes Helms, recording his ninth save of the year.

Joe Blanton got the win as he pitched seven shut out innings, giving up only five hits and two walks, while striking out eleven batters. His record is now 3-3 with a 6.14 ERA. Ryan Madson pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out one. Chad Durbin pitched a third of an inning, giving up three runs, only one of which was earned, on one hit and two walks. Scott Eyre pitched to one batter, who got on base on an error. Brad Lidge picked up the save, his ninth of the season, as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up just a walk, while striking out one. Andrew Miller took the lost, pitching six innings, giving up four runs, only two of which were earned, on seven hits and four walks, while he struck out four. His record is now 1-2 with an ERA of 4.55. Christopher Leroux pitched two innings in relief, giving up a run on three hits.

The Phillies collected ten hits in the game. Shane Victorino got the most hits as he went four for five, including two doubles, as he knocked in a run, while also scoring one, raising his season average to .284. Pedro Feliz was next with two hits, while Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez, Jayson Werth and Carlos Ruiz had the other four hits. Ryan Howard and Ibanez both knocked in a run, while Feliz would knock in two, to go along with Victorino’s RBI.

The Phillies (25-19, 1st) will tonight conclude their three-games series with the Marlins (21-26, 4th). The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park, and will start at 7:05 pm. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (4-2, 4.34), who is coming off his best start of the season as he tamed the Yankees on May 22, pitching eight innings, giving up just three runs on eight hits, while striking out five, in the Phillies’ 7-3 win. He will be going for his fourth straight victory. The Marlins will counter with Burke Badenhop (2-2, 5.75), who is coming off a no-decision against the Rays on May 23, where he pitched an inning and a third in relief, giving up a run on three hits and a walk, in the Marlins’ 10-3 lost. He will be out there trying to tame the Phils’ bats. The Phils will be trying to win their fourth straight series, while preparing to meet the lowly Nationals on Friday. They still lead the Mets by half a game. 

Jamie Moyer is once again denied his 250th career win as the Phillies lose to the fish, 5-3.

Once again, Jamie Moyer is denied his 250th career win as he loses to the Marlin for only the second time in his career, as the Phils lose to the fish, 5-3.

The Phils took a quick 2-0 lead in the first, as, with a man on base, and two men out, Ryan Howard hits a two-run home run, his eleventh home run of the year, scoring Raul Ibanez, who had earlier walked. The Marlins took the lead in the fourth, as, with two men on base via walks, and nobody out, Wes Helms hits a three-run home run, his first home run of the year, scoring both Hanley Ramirez and Jorge Cantu, making it 3-2 Marlins. In the sixth, with two men on, and two men out, Ronny Paulino hits an RBI single, scoring Helms, who had earlier singled and had gone to second on Cody Ross’ single, making it a 4-2 Marlins’ lead, as he beats the throw to home plate, while sending Ross to third, while Paulino would move on to second on the throw to the plate. In the Phils’ half of the sixth, they would get a run back, as Howard hits a lead-off home run, his twelfth home run of the season, and his second in the game, cutting the Marlins’ lead to 4-3. In the seventh, the Marlins got an insurance run as, with two men on, and two men out, Helms hits an RBI single, scoring Jeremy Hermida, who had earlier singled, making it a 5-3 Marlins’ lead, while sending Cantu, who had earlier walked, over to third. That would be the final score as the Phils’ threat in the ninth fizzle out after Shane Victorino is throw out at second base, caught stealing.

Jamie Moyer took the lost, as he pitched six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks, while he struck out five. His record is now 3-5 with a 7.42 ERA. Chan Ho Park pitched three innings of relief, giving up a run on four hits and a walk, while he also struck out five. Chris Volstad got the win, as he pitched six and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out six. His record is now 4-3 with a 3.69 ERA. Dan Meyer pitched a third of an inning, getting his eight hold of the season as he retired the only man he would face. Leo Nunez pitched a scoreless inning as he also recorded his eighth hold of the year, striking out a batter. Matt Lindstrom got the save, his ninth of the season, as he pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up a walk, while striking out one. 

The Phillies had only six hits in the game, with Ryan Howard and Pedro Feliz leading the way with two hits apiece, with Howard’s two hits being a pair of home runs, accounting for all three of the Phils’ runs. Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino would account for the other two Phils’ hits. The lost leave Jamie Moyer still looking for career win number 250, as folks begin to wonder how much longer this can go on.

The Phillies (24-19, 1st) continues their three-games home stand with the pesky Marlins (21-25, 4th). The game will be played tonight at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (2-3, 7.11), who is coming off a win against the Reds on May 21, as he pitched only five innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out four, in the Phils’ 12-5 win. He will be looking to even his record while improving on his last start. The Marlins’ starter will be Andrew Miller (1-1, 4.94), who is coming off a no-decision against the Diamondbacks on May 21, as he went seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks, as he struck out nine, in the Marlins’ 4-3 lost. He will be trying for his second win of the season. The Phillies will regroup and try to defeat the pesky Marlins tonight, so that they can go out and win the series tomorrow night. Their lead in the National League East is presently a half-game over the Mets.

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 7: Behind solid pitching from Jamie Moyer and the bullpen and a pair of 2-run home runs from Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz, the Phillies sink the Marlins, 5-2. Phillies’ lead goes up to 1 and 1/2 games in the East.

Thanks to good pitching from Jamie Moyer and the bullpen and a pair of two-run home runs from Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz, the Phillies have finally sank the Marlins hopes for a playoff spot as they defeated the fish, 5-2. They increased their lead to a game and a half in the Eastern Division as the Mets’ lost to the Braves thanks to their bullpen emploding once again. The Phillies would take the lead in the third when, with a runner on second and no one out, Chase Utley would hit a two-run home run, his thirty-second home run of the year, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier doubled, to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. The Phils would add to their lead in the fourth as, with runners on first and third and two men outs, Rollins would hit a RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz who has earlier singled and would reached third on Marlins’ right fielder’s Cody Ross fielding error on Phillies’ starter Jamie Moyer’s fly ball, giving the Phillies a 3-0 lead, while Moyer would move up to second on Rollins’ single. Marlins’ starter Chris Volstad would then hit Chase Utley with the pitch to load the bases as Moyer and Rollins would both move up a base. Volstad would then get out of the inning by getting Jayson Werth to hit into a force out, as Marlins’s third baseman Jorge Cantu would touch third base before Rollins. The Marlins would then try to score a run in the fifth. After Moyer gets out the first two Marlins’ batters, he would give up a two-out double to John Baker. The next batter, Cantu, would reach base on a fielding error by Ryan Howard on a ball that Howard would be unable to handle, while Baker would move over to third on the play. Mike Jacobs would then hit a ground ball to Howard that would first hit Howard’s glove and then possibly his face, but Howard would still be able to throw Jacobs out at first, with Moyer covering the bag, as Jacobs did not immediately run out of the box, since he’d thought that Ryan has actually caught the ball, ending the threat. The Marlins would then cut the lead in the sixth as, with a runner on second and two outs, Alfredo Amezaga would hit a RBI single, scoring Josh Willingham, who has earlier doubled, making it a 3-1 Phillies’ lead. The Marlins would then make the score even closer in the seventh, as, with the bases loaded, thanks to a double (Baker/given up by Chad Durbin), a single (Cantu/also by Durbin) and a walk (Dan Uggla/by J.C. Romero), and two men out, Willingham would hit a sharp ground ball down the third base line that would be stopped by third baseman Greg Dobbs, who would then be unable to make the play, as Baker scores, making it 3-2 Phils, while the bases would remain loaded as Willingham would be credited with a single as Cantu and Uggla would both move up a base. Dobbs’ play would save at least a second run from scoring as Clay Condrey would come in in place of Romero and would get Ross to hit into a force play to third baseman Pedro Feliz, who has just replaced Dobbs, as he has suffered a leg cramp on the previous play, who would throw to Utley to force out Willingham, thus ending the inning. The Phillies would then put the game away in the eighth, as, with a runner on first and no one out, Feliz would hit a two-run home run, his fourteenth home run of the year, knocking in Shane Victorino who has reached base earlier with a single. After Ryan Madson has put the Marlins down 1-2-3 in their half of the eighth, Brad Lidge would be handed the ball in the ninth to end the game. The Marlins would get runners on first and second with two men outs, but Lidge would finally end the game by getting pinch hitter Dallas McPherson to strike out swinging for his fortieth save of the year.

Jamie Moyer would get the win as he would go six innings, giving up just an earned run on six hits while striking out four. His record is now 15-7 with a 3.78 ERA, while his career record against the Marlins is now 11-1. Chad Durbin would pitch one-third of an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits while walking one. Clay Condrey would also pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Ryan Madson would pitch a 1-2-3 scoreless inning. Brad Lidge would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk while striking out two as he records his fortieth save in forty tries. Chris Volstad would take the lost, as he pitches five innings, giving up three runs, two of which were earned, on six hits. His record is now 5-4 with a ERA of 3.10. Doug Waechter would go a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Andrew Miller would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Kevin Gregg would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Joe Nelson would pitch an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Ryan Tucker would pitch a scoreless 1-2-3 inning.

Although out hit by the Marlins, the Phillies’ offense would get the hits when they counted on Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz’s two two-run home runs, with the second one helping to take some of the wind out of the Marlins’ sails. The Phillies have won their fourth straight series since losing two of three to the Marlins at home, doing what they needed to do to get into first place in first the wild card chase and then the Eastern Division, as they watch first the Brewers and then the Mets slip out of the lead in the wild card and the division respectively. At the same time, they have put the Marlins out of contention in both the East and the wild card race. For the Phillies, the magic number to get into the playoffs is now set at 3. Hopefully, they can get it done by the time the Braves leave town this Wednesday.

The Phillies (86-68) will be coming home for their final home stand of the regular season, playing three games with the fourth place Braves (69-87). The first game of the series will be played tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be rookie J.A. Happ (1-0, 4.24), who is coming off a win against these same Braves on September 17, as he would pitch six shut out innings, giving up only three hits, in the Phillies’ 6-1 win. In three starts this year, Happ’s ERA is 2.12. He will be trying for his second major league win, while trying to get the Phillies even closer to reentering the playoffs. The Braves will counter with Jair Jurrjens (13-10, 3.72), who is coming off a lost to the Phillies on September 17, as he went five innings, giving up four earned runs on five hits, in the Braves’ 6-1 lost. He will be trying to improve on his last start, while trying to slow down the Phillies’ charge towards the playoffs.

With the win, the Phillies have increased their lead over the Mets to a game and a half as they lost to the Braves. They have increased their lead over the Marlins to six and a half games with the win. In the Wild Card race, the Mets now lead the Brewers by one and a half games as they defeated the Reds. The Mets now lead the Astros by four games as they beat the Pirates. The Phillies will now come home, trying to first clinch a spot in the playoffs before going for either the Eastern Division flag or the Wild Card spot.

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 9: Phillies lose to the Marlins, 14-8. Drops to Second in the East, Lead in the Wild Card by 2 games.

The Phillies seven games winning streak is snapped as they dropped a wild one to the presently hot Marlins, 14-8. With the Mets’ win over the Braves, the Phils are now a half game out of first in the National League East. Their lead in the Wild Card is now two games as the Brewers lose to the Reds.

The Phillies took a quick one run lead in the first as, with two men on, and one out, Ryan Howard would hit a sharp ground ball towards first that Marlins’ first baseman Mike Jacobs would be unable to play, becoming a fielding error, which would allow Chase Utley, who has gotten on base earlier with a walk and then went to second on Jayson Werth’s single, to score all the way from second, giving the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead, and for Werth to go on to third. Werth would then make it a 2-0 Phillies’ lead as he would score on Marlins’ starter Josh Johnson’s wild pitch. The Marlins would then strike back on Phillies’ starter Brett Myers in their half of the first. Cameron Maybin, starting in place of the injured Hanley Ramirez, would start the inning off with an infield single. After Maybin steals second, John Baker would knock him with a RBI single, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 2-1. Jorge Cantu would follow with a single, sending Baker to second. Jacobs would then follow with a two-run double, scoring both Baker and Cantu, giving the Marlins a 3-2 lead. Dan Uggla would then hit a two-run home run, his thirty-first home run of the year, scoring Jacobs, making it 5-2 Marlins. Myers would then get out of the inning by striking out Luis Gonzalez, getting Cody Ross to fly out to left and then getting Alfredo Amezaga to ground out, 4-3. The Phillies would cut the Marlins’ lead in the second as Greg Dobbs would start off the inning by hitting a solo home run, his ninth home run of the year, to make it 5-3 Marlins. Later, with two men on, and one out, Utley would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Chris Coste, who has earlier singled, went to second on Myers’ sacrifice bunt and then would go the third on Jimmy Rollins’ single, cutting the Marlins’ lead to 5-4. Then in the fifth, the Phillies would retake the lead as Howard would hit a two-run slam to right, his major league leading forty-sixth home run of the year, scoring Utley, who has earlier singled, making it 6-5 Phillies. Myers would try to put down the Marlins in the bottom of the fifth. Sadly, he would be unable to. After getting ahead of Maybin, 0-2, Howard would be unable to make the put out on a foul ball. The next pitch, a fastball, which the announcers thought was the wrong pitch to throw at the kid since he has a hard time with off-speed stuff, like the ball that he’d just pop up, would be hit into right for a single. Maybin would then steal second for his second steal of the night. Baker would then follow with a walk, putting runners on first and second. Cantu would follow him with a RBI double, scoring Maybin to tie the game at 6-6 and sending Baker to third. Myers would then intentionally walk Jacobs to load the bases. The next batter, Uggla, would then single to left, scoring Baker, to give the Marlins a 7-6 lead, while moving both Cantu and Jacobs up a base, as the bases remain loaded. That would be it for Myers as Charlie Manuel would come out of the dugout and replace him with Rudy Seanez. Seanez would get Gonzalez to hit into a force out, cutting down Uggla at second, while allowing Cantu to score, making it 8-6 Marlins, while Jacobs would move up to third. Ross would then pop up to Howard for the inning’s second out. It would seem that the Phillies would get out of the inning with manageable damage, but it was not to be as Amezaga would hit a surprising three-run home run to right, his third home run of the year, scoring both Jacobs and Gonzalez to give the Marlins an 11-6 lead. The inning would finally end when pinch hitter Gaby Sanchez, batting for Johnson, would ground out, 6-3. The Marlins would add to their lead in the sixth as, with runners on second and third, and one man out, Jacobs would hit a two-run single to right, scoring Maybin, who has earlier singled, his fourth hit of the night, moved to second on Baker’s walk and then moved to third on Les Walrond’s wild pitch, and Baker, who has walked and has moved up to second on the wild pitch, making it 13-6 Marlins. But Jacobs would then be thrown out by Werth when he tried to make it a double, being tagged by Rollins for the inning’s second out. The Phillies would get a run back in the seventh as, with two men on and one out, Howard would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Rollins who has earlier singled, would move to second on Utley’s single and was the lead runner on a double steal with Utley as Werth strke out for the inning’s first out, making it 13-7 Marlins. The Phillies would cut it down further in the eighth as Shane Victronio would hit a lead-off home run, his thirteenth home run of the year, cutting the Marlins’ lead down to 13-8. But the Marlins would get that run back as, with two men out, Cantu would hit a solo home run, his twenty-ninth home run of the year, making it 14-8 Marlins. That would end up being the final score as Joe Nelson would put the Phillies down in the ninth.

Brett Myers would take the lost, being able to go only four innings, plus five batters, as he would give up ten earned runs on nine hits and two walks while strking out only three. His record has now dropped to 10-12, while his ERA went up to 4.46. Rudy Seanez would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Les Walrond would go two innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits, walking a batter while striking out one. Kyle Kendrick, pitching in his first game since his blow up against these same Marlins last week, would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Josh Johnson would get the win, as he pitched five innings, giving up six runs, five of which were earned, on seven hits, as he struck out six. His record is now 6-1 with an ERA of 3.65. Mark Hendrickson would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Andrew Miller would pitch an inning, plus one batter, giving up two earned runs on one hit, walking two while striking out one. Logan Kensing would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up just one hit. Arthur Rhodes would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Joe Nelson would pitch a scorless ninth inning, giving up no hits, while walking a batter and striking out the side.

Brett Myers ran into the buzzsaw of the Marlins’ bat, getting hit hard in both the first and fifth inning, as he would give up hits to the first five Marlins’ batters in the first, ending with Dan Uggla’s two-run home run, and then being unable to get anyone out in the fifth, giving up two singles, a double and two walks, one of which was intentional, before being taken out. Myers didn’t seem to have it last night, although he might not have gotten bombed in the fifth if he has thrown off-speed pitches to Cameron Maybin, instead of the fastball that the rookie would hit off of him to right for a single, as the rookie seems to like hitting fastballs and not off-speed stuff. Whether it was Myers’ idea, or catcher Chris Coste’s, to throw it in that 0-2 situation, I have no idea, but it would end up leading into a lot of trouble right after the Phillies have just regained the lead. Sigh. Anyway, the team needs to forget about this game and just get back to doing what they have been doing during their seven games winning streak: scoring early, scoring often and keeping the opposition from doing the same to them. This means that both Joe Blanton and Jamie Moyer will have to do their best to make sure that the young Marlins’ bats don’t become their usual pesky selves, if for no other reason than to make Dan Uggla eat his words about the Marlins planning to take other teams with them if they don’t make the playoff. This team need to be kept from becoming the Colorado Rockies of ’08.

The now second place Phillies (86-68) will continue their three games series with the third place Marlins (81-72) with a night game tonight. The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (7-12 (2-0), 4.82), who is coming off a no-decision against the Brewers on September 14 in the day half of the day/night doubleheader, as he would go seven innings, giving up only three earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 7-3 win. This was only his third start in which he would go more than five innings, but it would come at a good time for the Phils. He has faced the Marlins once before, recording his second win as a Phil since the trade, as he would defeat them on September 8, going five innings, giving up four earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 8-6 win. He will be going for his second straight long start while trying to improve on his previous start against the fish, while trying to snap their nine games winning streak. His opponent will be Anibal Sanchez (2-4, 5.87), who is coming off a no-decision against the Nationals on September 14, as he went seven innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits, in the Marlins’ 8-7 win. He has faced the Phillies twice before, losing both starts, as he would go a combine total of only six and two-thirds innings, giving up eight earned runs on ten hits. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to finally defeat the Phils.

The second place Phils now trail the Mets by a half game, as they defeated the Braves to regain the lead in the East. The Phillies are ahead of the Marlins by four and a half games thanks to the lost. In the Wild Card chase, the Phillies are still leading the Brewers by two games as they lost to the Reds last night. They are ahead of both the Marlins and the Astros by four and a half games as the Astros defeated the Pirates. The Phillies will be trying to regain the lead in the East while trying to push back the challenge of the now hot Marlins while trying to bury the still slumping Brewers.

Kyle Kendrick gets bombed as the Phillies are unable to come back from a 9-1 defecit as they lose to the Marlins, 10-8.

Kyle Kendrick is knocked out of the box in the second inning, after giving up seven runs, as the Phillies lose to the Marlins, 10-8. The Marlins would take the lead in the first as, with the bases loaded thanks to two singles (John Baker and Mike Jacobs) and a walk (Jorge Cantu) and with one man out, Dan Uggla would hit a two-run single, scoring Baker and Cantu, giving the Marlins a quick 2-0 lead, while sending Jacobs to third. Josh Willingham would follow with a sacrifice fly, scoring Jacobs, to make it 3-0 Marlins. The Phillies would get a run back in their half of the first as, with a runner on third and one out, Chase Utley would hit a soft grounder to the shortstop for the inning’s second out, 6-3, scoring Jayson Werth, who would get on base with a single, and then steal first second and then third, to cut the Marlins’ lead to 3-1. But the Marlins would go back to work on Phils’ starter Kyle Kendrick in the second, as, with a runner on second and one out, Hanley Ramirez would hit a RBI double, knocking in Marlins’ starter Chris Volstad, who has doubled earlier, to give the Marlins a 4-1 lead. Two batters later, after Baker walks, Cantu would hit a three-run home run, his twenty-fourth home run of the year, scoring Ramirez and Baker, giving the Marlins a 7-1 lead. That would be it for Kendrick as Charlie Manuel would take him out of the game for J.A. Happ, who would get out of the inning with no further damage. The Marlins would then add to their lead in the fourth as, with a runner on first and one out, Jacobs would hit a two-run home run, his thirty-second home run of the year, knocking in Cantu, who has earlier singled, to make it 9-1 Marlins. The Phillies would then start their comeback in their half of the fourth, as, after Volstad is taken out of the game, because of a ball hitting off his leg, and replaced with reliever Eulogio De La Cruz, with one man on base and no one out, Ryan Howard would hit a two-run home run, his forty-first home run of the year, scoring  Utley, who has earlier singled, to make it 9-3 Marlins. Two batters later, Shane Victorino would ground out, first to the pitcher, knocking in Pat Burrell, who has earlier tripled, to cut the Marlins’ lead down to 9-4. The Marlins would get a run back in the fifth as Cody Ross would hit a lead-off home run, his twenty-first home run of the year, to give the Marlins a 10-4 lead. The Phillies would then explode in the sixth. Howard would start the inning off with a double. Burrell would then follow with a walk, putting two men on base. Victorino would follow with a single, scoring Howard, making it a 10-5 Marlins’ lead, and sending Burrell over to third. De La Cruz is then taken out of the game and replaced with Doug Waechter. After Victorino steals second to put runners on second and third, Greg Dobbs would hit a two-run double, scoring both Burrell and Victorino, cutting the Marlins’ lead down to 10-7. Pinch hitter Matt Stairs would then follow with a RBI single, scoring Dobbs, making it 10-8 Marlins, with still no one out. After Chris Coste flies out for the inning’s first out, Jimmy Rollins would hit a single, sending Stairs to third, putting runners on the corners, with still one man out. Rollins would then steal second, to put both runners in scoring position. Werth would then fly out to right for the inning’s second out, which would unfortunatley not be deep enough to score Stairs from third. Waechter is then taken out and replaced by Andrew Miller, who would end the inning by getting Utley to pop up. The Phillies would mount one last threat in the eighth as they put runners on the corners with two singles (pinch hitter Pedro Feliz, later replaced by pinch runner So Taguchi, and Rollins) with two men out. But the threat would end as Werth lines out to right. The Phillies would then go down 1-2-3 in the ninth, as the Marlins would use two different pitchers in that inning to record the final three outs, with Matt Lindstrom recording his second save of the year.

Kyle Kendrick would get the lost as he is knocked out of the ballgame early, as he goes only an inning and a third, giving up seven earned runs on six hits and two walks. His record is now 11-9 with a 5.44 ERA. J.A. Happ would go three and one third innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, while striking out five, all three runs coming on two home runs. Clay Condrey would pitch one and a third innings of scoreless ball, giving up only one hit. Rudy Seanez would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits, while striking out two. Scott Eyre would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hits, while striking out a batter. Brad Lidge would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and strking out a batter. Chris Volstad would get a no-decision, as he is taken out of the game because of a ball hitting one of his legs, going three innings, giving up one earned run on two hits. Eulogio De La Cruz would pitch two innings plus three batters, as he gives up six earned runs on five hits and two walks, Doug Waechter would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on three hits. Andrew Miller would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Kevin Gregg would get the win as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. His record is now 7-8 with a 3.73 ERA. Joe Nelson would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up two hits. Arthur Rhodes would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Matt Lindstrom would record his second save of the year as he goes a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits.

Kyle Kendrick would get knocked around by the Marlins, not lasting two innings, thus showing that his stint in the bullpen last weekend didn’t seem to do anything for him. Because of the seven runs that he gave up, along with the three that J.A. Happ would give up later on a pair of home runs, the Phillies’ offense would be put in an early hole that they could not fully climb out of. I hate to say it, but Kendrick needs to be seated on the bench for a while, until he can find out what his problem is and correct it. If this means some time back in the minors at the start of ’09, then so be it, he just need to get back into attacking batters and not worry about what they are going to do with his pitches. He might also develop an out pitch while he’s at it.

The Phllies (79-66) are right now playing the final game of their three games series with the Marlins (73-72) at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies’ starter is Brett Myers (9-10, 4.19), who is coming off a recent win against the Mets on September 5, where he threw eight shut out innings, giving up only three hits, in the Phillies’ 3-0 win. Since coming back from the minors, Myers has posted a 6-1 record with two no-decisions, which the Phillies have split. He will be looking to even his record while keeping the Phillies paced with the Mets. The Marlins will send to the mound Ricky Nolasco (13-7, 3.56), who is coming off a no-decision against the Cardinals on September 5, as he would go seven innings, giving up only one earned run on six hits, in the Marlins’ 4-1 win. His previous start against the Phillies on July 18 was a lost, as he went seven innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits in the Marlins’ 4-2 lost. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to do better against the Phillies then he did in his previous start.

The Phillies now trail the Mets by two and a half games in the East as they face the Nationals later today. They lead the Marlins by six games going into this afternoon’s game. In the wild card chase, they are now three and a half games behind Milwaukee, as they have just defeated the Reds, while they are presently a half game ahead of the Cardinals who will play the Cubs tonight and a game ahead of the Astros who will play the Pirates tonight. The Phillies will need to win today to keep pace in both the division and the wild card.