The Phils constantly came from behind before finally defeating the Marlins in extra-innings, 7-6, thus ending the 2008 regular season on a high note. They will now face the Rockies in the best of five Divisional Series starting on Wednesday.
The Marlins jumped to a quick 1-0 lead, as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Nick Johnson hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Chris Coghlan, who had earlier singled, and then reached third on Cameron Maybin’s double. Three batters later, with two men once again on, as Dan Uggla walked, and now with two men out, Ronny Paulino hits an RBI double, scoring Maybin, giving the fish a 2-0 lead, and sending Uggla to third. The Phils would get a run back in the fourth as Miguel Cairo hits a lead-off home run, his first home run of the season, making it a 2-1 Marlins’ lead. The Phils would then tied the game at two-all later in the inning as, with a runner on third, and with two men out, Ben Francisco hits an RBI single, knocking in Jayson Werth, who had earlier singled, and then proceeded to steal first second, and then third base. The Marlins would retake the lead in the fifth as, with the bases loaded, via a walk to Marlins’ starter Josh Johnson, a single to Coghlan, sending J. Johnson up to second base, a ground out by Maybin, 5-3, which would move J. Johnson up to third and send Coghlan up to second, and a walk to N. Johnson, with two men out, Wes Helms hits an RBI single, scoring both J. Johnson and Coghlan, making it a 4-2 Marlins’ lead, and sending N. Johnson over to third. The next batter, Uggla, then followed with an RBI single, knocking in N. Johnson, making it 5-2 Marlins and sending Helms to third. The Phils would strike back in their half of the fifth as, with a runner on third, and with nobody out, Eric Bruntlett hits an RBI single, knocking in Andy Tracy, who had just tripled, making it a 5-3 Marlins’ lead. Two batters later, pinch hitter Shane Victorino hits an RBI single, knocking in Bruntlett, who had earlier stolen second base, to make it a 5-4 Marlin’s lead. Two batters later, with a runner on second, and now with two men out, Greg Dobbs hits an RBI single, scoring Victorino, who had just gone to second on a Cairo ground out, 3-unassisted, tying the game up at five-all. The Marlins regained the lead in the sixth as, with runners on the corners, and with one out, Coghlin hits into an RBI force out, knocking in Emilio Bonifacio, who had earlier walked, and had gone to third on pinch hitter Gaby Sanchez’s single, while Sanchez, who had just singled, was wiped out at second, 4-6. The Phils would tie it up again at six-all in the eighth as Cairo hits a lead-off triple, then went home when Marlins’ second baseman Uggla threw the ball into the dugout for a throwing error. The Phils would win the ballgame in the tenth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Paul Hoover hits an RBI infield single off of Helm’s glove, scoring John Mayberry, who had singled, then moved to second on Cairo’s sacrifce bunt, 2-3, giving the Phils a 7-6 walk-off win.
J.A. Happ received a no-decision as he pitched only two innings, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk, while striking out one. Kyle Kendrick then followed for two and two-thirds inning, giving up three runs on three hits and three walks, as he struck out three. Clay Condrey pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. Brett Myers pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on just a walk, as he struck out a batter. Sergio Escalona pitched one and two-thirds innings, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out one. Jack Taschner pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits, as he struck out one. Scott Eyre pitched an inning, giving up only a walk, while striking out a batter. Chad Durbin got the win as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. His record is now 2-2 with an ERA of 4.39. Josh Johnson also recorded a no-decision as he went four and two-thirds innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out five. Tim Wood pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only man he would face. Burke Badenhop recorded his second hold as he pitched two 1-2-3 innings, striking out three. Kiko Calero blew his fifth save, as he went an inning, giving up a run on a hit, while striking out a batter. Renyel Pinto pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits, as he struck out two. Dan Meyer took the lost as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a walk, while striking out one. His record is now 3-2 with a 3.09 ERA.
The Phils collected twelve hits in the game, with Miguel Cairo, Ben Francisco and Eric Bruntlett leading the team with two hits each, with Cairo’s hits being a home run and a triple, knocking in a run while scoring two. Greg Dobbs, Jayson Werth, Paul Hoover, Andy Tracy, Shane Victorino and John Mayberry Jr. collected the other six Phils’ hits, with Tracy’s hit being a triple. Besides Cairo’s home run, Dobbs, Francisco, Bruntlett, pinch hitter Victorino and Hoover each knocked in a run, with Hoover’s being the game winner. The non-regulars and the September call-ups help lead the Phils to their final win of the regular season.
The Phils finished the regular season with a 93-69 record, with one win more than they won in 2008, being their best record under Charlie Manuel’s leadership. The Phils will be off until Wednesday when they will play the first game of the NL Divisional Series against the Colorado Rockies, the wild card winner. The Phils will be trying to get even with the Rockies for 2007 when they got swept in three games.
A ninth-inning rally falls short as the Phils lose to the Astros, 5-3. They will now play the Marlins for three games as they try to get past the Dodgers for the best record in the National League for home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Astros took a quick 2-0 lead in the first as, with two men on, and with one man out, Lance Berkman hits a two-run double, scoring Kazuo Matsui, who had earlier singled, and then went to second as Miguel Tejada reached base on catcher’s interference, and Tejada, who had gotten on base on Paul Bako’s catcher’s interference-error. The Phils would cut the lead in half in the fifth as, with the bases loaded, via a double by Ben Francisco, an infield single by Jimmy Rollins, which sent Francisco to third, and a walk to Ryan Howard, which moved Rollins to second, and with two men out, when Raul Ibanez hit an infield single, scoring Francisco, making it a 2-1 Astros’ lead, while moving Rollins to third, and Howard up to second. The Astros increased their lead in the sixth as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Tejada hits a two-run home run, his fourteenth home run of the season, scoring Matsui, who had just walked. The Phils tried to rally in the ninth. With two men on, and with two out, Pedro Feliz hits a two-run double, scoring Matt Stairs, who had earlier received a pinch hit walk, and then went to third on Jayson Werth’s single, and Werth, who had just singled, and then moved up to second on defensive indifference, making it a 5-3 Astros’ lead. Pinch hitter Andy Tracy then followed with a pinch single, sending Feliz to third, bringing up the winning run to the plate. But, that would be it as pinch hitter Miguel Cairo hits the first pitch deep into center field for the final out.
Cliff Lee took the lost as he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs, three of which were earned, on seven hits and a walk, as he struck out four. His record is 14-13 (7-4) with an ERA of 3.22 (3.39). Clay Condrey pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. Brett Myers pitched an inning, giving up a run on three hits. Tyler Walker and Sergio Escalona together pitched two 1-2-3 innings, striking out a batter between them (Walker). Felipe Paulino got the win as he pitched five innings, giving up just one run on six hits and three walks, as he struck out five. His record is now 3-11 with an ERA of 6.27. Jeff Fulchino recorded his twelfth hold as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit and a walk, while striking out a batter. Wesley Wright and LaTroy Hawkins combined for two scoreless innings, giving up three hits (Wright (1), Hawkins (2)), while striking out 2 batters (Hawkins). Jose Valverde pitched an inning, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk.
The Phils had thirteen hits in the game, with Ben Francisco leading the team with three hits, with two of them being doubles, as he raised his average to .257 (.281). He was followed by Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz, who had two hits each, with one of Feliz’s hits being a two-run double. Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, Paul Bako, Miguel Cairo and pinch hitter Andy Tracy had the other six Phils’ hit, with Ibanez’s hit knocking in the Phils’ other run. The Phils were once again unable to knock in runs, mainly because they could not string together their hits.
The Phils (92-67, 1st) will play their final home stand of the regular season with a three-games series with the pesky Marlins (85-74, 3rd). The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (12-7, 3.95), who is coming off a win against the Brewers on September 27, where he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and four walks, while striking out four, in the Phils’ 6-5 win. He will be trying to win his thirteenth start, which would place him as the team leader in that category. The Marlins will counter with Rick VandenHurk (2-2, 4.44), who is coming off a no-decision against the Phils on September 23, when he went six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out five, in the Marlins’ 7-6 win. He will be trying for his third win of the season. The Phils will once again try to add another win as they now try to get the best record in the NL to have home field advantage during the playoffs.
In Grapefruit League play, the Phillies would end up losing a close one to the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday afternoon, 3-2.
Jamie Moyer started the game for the Phillies, pitching his typical kind of game, as he would go five innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits and a walk while making some of the Rays batters look silly. J.A. Happ, who is still impressing in the race for the final spot in the starting rotation, would pitch the final three innings, giving up what would turn out to be the game winner, a solo home run to Gabe Kapler in the sixth, on four hits and a walk while striking out a batter. His excellent performances are presently putting him in the driver seat for the fifth starter spot in the rotation. Moyer would take the lost, with his Spring Training record falling to 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA.
Batting-wise, Rays’ pitching would silence the Phillies’ bat, giving up only three hits while striking out seven batters. Miguel Cairo would get two of the Phillies’ three hits, going 2 for 3 in the game and scoring a run. Andy Tracy would get the other hit, a two-out solo home run in the ninth inning. Ryan Howard would knock in the Phils other run, as he hits a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the seventh.
The Phillies continue Grapefruit League play with a home game in Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida with the Pittsburgh Pirates, that is presently in progress.
After losing their third straight Spring Training game yesterday, this time to the Cincinnati Reds in Sarasota, Florida, by the score of 10-3, the Phillies’ bats would come alive today as they would pound the 2008 American League Champions Tampa Bay Rays for 12 runs on 13 hits at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, defeating the Rays, 12-5.
Kyle Kendrick, whom pitching coach Rich Dubee had earlier announced as the person who had the fifth starter job to lose, would keep the Rays off the board in the top of the first. In the Phils’ half of the first, the silent bats would finally wake up in an explosive way against Rays’ starter Mitch Talbot. Jimmy Rollins would start the inning off with a double, before scoring on an RBI single by Shane Victorino, making it 1-0 Phils. One out later, Ryan Howard would get his first Spring Training hit, a two-run home run, plating Victorino before him, giving the Phillies a 3-0 lead. The next batter, John Mayberry, Jr., who is playing right field in place of Jayson Werth, who has a sore shoulder, would follow Howard with his own home run, his first for the spring, to make it 4-0 Phils. Two batters later, Miguel Cairo would knock in the last Phils run for the inning, as he would hit a solo home run, the third home run for the Phils in the inning, making it 5-0 Phillies.
In the top of the second inning, the Rays would get one of the runs back, as Ray Sadler would hit a two-out solo home run off of Kendrick, making it a 5-1 Phils lead. The Phillies would not score in their half of the second, nor would either team score a run in the third, although Kendrick would be replaced by Drew Naylor in the top of the inning when he got himself into a jam with two men out. Naylor would turn back the Rays, and then keep them quiet in the fourth. The Phillies would get another run back in their half of the fourth, as Jason Donald had an RBI single, his first hit of the spring, as he knocks in Cairo, who had earlier doubled, to make it 6-1 Phils. Naylor would then give up an RBI single to Justin Ruggiano in the fifth, as he would knock in Ray Olmedo, who has earlier singled and then stole second, as Naylor committeed an error trying to pick him off, making it 6-2 Phillies.
After neither the Phils, in the bottom of the fifth, or the Rays, in the top of the sixth, as Mike Koplove would pitch an almost clean inning aginst the Rays, would be able to score, the Phillies would increase their lead to 7-2 in the bottom of the sixth as Ronny Paulino would hit a two-out solo shot. The Rays would get the run back in the top of the seventh, as Jon Weber would hit a two-out RBI double, knocking in Olmedo, making it a 7-3 Phils lead. The Phillies would get the run back in the bottom of the seventh, to make it 8-3 Phillies. After Clay Condrey would put the Rays down 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth, the Phillies would finally put the game away in the bottom of the inning as they would score four more runs, with Eric Bruntlett, Andy Tracy and Mayberry each knocking in a run with two men outs.
In the ninth, the Phils would send Jake Woods to the mound. He would give up a two-run home run to Elliot Johnson, with two men out, before finally ending the game, with the Phils winning 12-5.
Pitching-wise, Kendrick, one of the four pitchers trying out for the fifth starer position in the starting rotation, would pitch two and two-thirds innings, giving up one earned run on four hits. Naylor would follow by going two and a third innings, also giving up an earned run on three hits while striking out three batters. Koplove would go to the mound next, pitching a scoreless sixth, although walking a batter, who would later be erased in a double play. Scott Eyre would be the next Phils’ pitcher, giving up an earned run on two hits, while striking out one Ray. Condrey would follow and pitch a 1-2-3 eighth. Woods would pitch the ninth, giving up two earned runs on two hits as he struck out two.
Among the batters, Howard, Cairo and Mayberry would lead the Phils thirteen-hit attack by each getting two hits, with each man hitting a home run, a two-run shot by Howard and solo shots by Cairo and Mayberry, while Mayberry would knock in a second run during the Phillies’ four-run eighth. Rollins, Victorino, Bruntlett, Tracy, Pablo Ozuna, Donald and Paulino would each get one hit.
The victory gives the Phillies a 1-3 record in the Grapefruit League. The next Phillies’ game is tomorrow afternoon at 1:05 pm Eastern, as the Phils play the Atlanta Braves in Lake Buena Vista, Florida at Disney’s Wide World of Sports.
The Phillies has just finished playing their home opener at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, this afternoon. They ended up on the short end once again, as they lose to the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-2.
The Phillies started the game, pitching wise, by sending out Carlos Carrasco, one of the four men trying to land the job of fifth starter in the starting rotation. The pitching prospect was soon aiming to please, as he put down the Blue Jays 1-2-3, getting two straight strikeouts and a ground out, third to first. After the Phils went down in order in their half of the first, Carrasco went back on the mound in the top of the second, once again getting a 1-2-3 innings against the Blue Jays batters by getting a ground out, 5-3, a fly out to right and a third strikeout. Carrasco seems to have set the bar in the battle for the final rotation spot by striking out three, getting two ground outs and a fly out.
After the Phils would go scoreless in their half of the second, J.A. Happ, another contender for the fifth spot, would take the mound. Refusing to give ground to Carassco, Happ would put together a 1-2-3 inning of his own, getting a ground out, 6-3, a fly out to right and a strike out. The Phillies would then proceed to break the scoreless tie, as, with no one out, and runners on first and second via a single and a stolen base (Jason Ellison) and a walk (Carlos Ruiz), Jimmy Rollins would knock in Ellinson with a single to right, while sending Ruiz to third, as he would move up to second on the throw home. Sadly, that would be all that the Phillies would do that inning, as the next three batters would strike out, pop out and strike out. Happ would go back to the mound in the top of the fourth, soon getting the first two men out via a ground out, 4-3 and a pop out to third. He would then give up a single, the first hit of the game for the Blue Jays, before he ended the inning with a fly out to center. In spite of the hit, Happ would do as well as Carrasco, getting two ground outs, two fly outs, a pop out and a strike out. The Phillies would only manage a walk in the bottom of the fourth.
The Phillies would send Justin Lehr to the mound to start the fifth. Lehr would be welcomed by Travis Snider who would hit a lead-off home run on a 2-2 pitch, tying the game up at 1-1. The Blue Jays would then take the lead as Jason Lane would follow Snider with a home run of his own on a 3-2 pitch. Lehr would then get out of the inning by getting two straight ground outs, 4-3 and 3-1 and then a line out to second. The Phils would go down 1-2-3 in their half of the fifth.
Gary Majewski would pitch the sixth for the Phillies. He would pitch a 1-2-3 inning against the Blue Jays, with a strike out, a ground out, 3-1 and another strike out. In the Phillies’ half of the inning, they would tie the score at 2-2 with two men outs as Greg Dobbs singles in John Mayberry, Jr., who has earlier doubled. After the sixth inning ends, Majewski would go back out to pitch the seventh, soon mowing down the Blue Jays again, 1-2-3, as he would get a fly out to left, a ground out, 4-3, and a pop out to third on six pitches. The Phillies would be unable to score in their half of the inning, in spite of getting a man on first via a hit batman, with one out, because of an inning ending double play.
The Phillies would start the eighth inning with Blaine Neal on the pitching rubber. After getting out the first batter with a pop out to second, he would give up a double to David Cooper. The next batter would ground out, 5-3, keeping Cooper at second. After that, everything would go wrong for Neal. He would walk Angel Sanchez, putting runners on first and second, then would throw a wild pitch, sending Cooper to third, putting runners on the corner. He would then walk Bradley Emaus on four pitches, loading up the bases as Sanchez would move over to second. Scott Campbell would then come up and clears the bases with a double, scoring Cooper, Sanchez and Emaus, giving the Blue Jays a 5-2 lead. That would be it for Neal, as he would be taken out for Yorman Bazardo. Bazardo would hit the first batter he would face, Brian Jeroloman, putting runners on first and second. He would then give up an RBI single to Adam Loewen, scoring Campbell, and sending Jeroloman to third, as the Blue Jays would increase their lead to 6-2. Bazardo would finally end the inning by getting the next batter to ground out, 4-3, but by then the damage had already been done as Neal and Bazardo would combine to give up four runs (all charged to Neal) on three hits, two walks, a wild pitch and a hit batter. The Phils would be unable to score in their half of the eighth, in spite of starting the inning off with a walk, as the next batter would hit into a double play before the inning would end with a strike out.
Bazardo would be sent back out to pitch the ninth. He would strike out the first batter he would face, before issuing a walk. He would then end the inning by getting the next batter to ground into a double play. The Phillies ninth would begin with a strike out before Andy Tracy would get on base with a single. Pablo Ozuna would follow him with a single, putting runners on first and second with one out. The next batter would then hit into a force out, with Ozuna being out at second while Tracy would move over to third. The next batter would then strike out, ending the game, and giving the Phils their second straight Spring Training lost.
For the Phillies, the two men trying for the fifth starter spot in the rotation, Carrasco and Happ, would both do well today, as between them, they would give up no runs in four innings of work, giving up only a single, while striking out four. Majewski would also do well, as he would pitch two scoreless innings, giving up no hits, while striking out two. Although he would allow in the fourth and final run to score in the eighth inning, Bazardo would pitch a scoreless inning and a third, giving up a hit and a walk and hitting a batter, while striking out one. Lehr would pitch one bad inning, giving up back-to-bat home runs, before getting out of the inning with no further damage. Neal though, would end up being hit the hardest, as he would give up four earned runs on two hits, two walks and a wild pitch in two-thirds of an inning.
Among the batters, the Phils would have only six hits, with Rollins, Mayberry, Dobbs, Tracy, Ozuna and Ellison each getting a hit, while Rollins and Dobbs would be responsible for the Phils two RBIs. The Phillies would only walk three times in the game while striking out nine times.
Neal would be the losing pitching, with a Spring Training record of 0-1 with an ERA of 54.00. The winning pitching for the Blue Jays would be Bill Murphy, who, in one inning of work, would give up no runs or hits, while striking out one batter. His Spring Training record is now 1-0 with an 0.00 ERA.
The Phillies next Spring Training game will be played tomorrow afternoon from Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida at 1:05 pm Easetrn.
The Phillies lose the nightcap of the day/night doubleheader as Johan Santana gets the better of Cole Hamels as the Mets defeat the Phillies, 6-3. The lost would push the Phillies back to being two games behind the Mets with 19 games left to go. The Phillies would strike first in the first inning, as with two men on and one out, Ryan Howard would hit a RBI single, knocking in Chase Utley, who has earlier singled and has gone to second on Jayson Werth’s walk, giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead, while sending Werth to second. But Mets’ starter Johan Santana would get out of the inning by first striking out the heavily slumping Pat Burrell and then getting Shane Victorino to fly out. The Mets would strike back in their half of the first. After Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels would get the first batter out, he would give up a single to Ryan Church. David Wright would then reach base on catcher’s interference, putting runners on first and second, while leading into a long argument over the call between Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel and home plate umpire Jerry Meals, before Meals finally ejects Manuel for arguing the call. After Manuel finally leaves, Carlos Beltron would hit the first pitch thrown to him into left field for a single, scoring Church, and tying the score at one all. Wright would try to go to third on the play and would be called safe at third by the second base umpire Paul Emmel, although ESPN’s instant replay would show that not only was he tagged out before he has touched the bag with his hands, but he was also tagged out when he has slid off the bag, thus missing the play twice. In the meantime, Beltron would move up to second, putting Mets’ runners on second and third with still one out. Carlos Delgado would then follow with a RBI single, scoring both Wright and Beltran, to give the Mets a 3-1 lead. After getting Fernando Tatis to hit into a force out, 6 to 4, wiping out Delgado, for the inning’s second out, Hamels would finally get out of the inning by striking out Damion Easley. The Phillies would cut the Mets’ lead to 3-2 in the third as Ryan Howard would hit a solo home run, his fortieth home run of the year, and setting a Phillies’ record as he becomes the first Phillies to hit 40 or more home runs in three consecutive seasons. The Mets would get that run back in their half of the third as Delgado would hit a lead-off home run, his thirty-second home run of the year, to make it 4-2 Mets. Two innings later, Delgado would strike again as he would hit his thirty-third home run of the year, giving the Mets a 5-2 lead, helping to further ruin Hamels’ night. Santana, in the meantime, was ruining the Phillies’ batters’ night, as he kept them off-balance, in spite of being a bit wild in the early innings, as he got the batters once again swinging early in the pitch count, before finally being taken out in the top of the eighth inning. After keeping the Phillies off of the scoreboard in the top of the eighth, the Mets would add one more run in their half of the eighth, as, with a runner on third and no one out, Brian Schneider would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Easley, who has earlier tripled, to give the Mets a 6-2 lead. The Phillies would get a run back in the ninth, when, with runners on the corners and one out, Andy Tracy would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Victorino who has earlier reached base on an infield single, has gone to second on Schneider’s throwing error, and has gone to third on pinch hitter Matt Stairs’ single, making it 6-3 Mets. But that would be the final score as Mets’ reliever Luis Ayala would strike out Jimmy Rollins to end the game.
Cole Hamels would take the lose, as he pitches five ineffective innings, giving up five runs, four of which were earned, on nine hits. His record is now 12-9 with a 3.12 ERA. Clay Condrey would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Rudy Seanez would go two innings, giving up an earned run on one hit. Johan Santana would get the win as he goes seven and one third innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits. His record is now 13-7 with a 2.70 ERA. Pedro Feliciano and Brian Stokes would both pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs and no hits. Luis Ayala would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits.
The Phillies’ offense would do itself in once again by not being patient enough against Mets’ starter Johan Santana, as Santana, who would give up three walks in the game, was somewhat wild in the early innings. After being unable to bust the game open in the first thanks to a heavily slumping Pat Burrell, Santana would find a way to keep the Phillies under control before taking full control in the middle innings. Cole Hamels, on the other hand, would be unable to take control of the Mets’ thanks to a pair of long arguments; one between Charlie Manuel and home plate umpire Jerry Meals over whether Chris Coste’s glove actually did interfere with David Wright’s bat on what would have been strike three, which would end with Manuel being ejected from the game, and then one between third baseman Pedro Feliz and second base umpire Paul Emmel on whether Feliz has tagged out Wright at third before he has reached the bag when Wright tried to go to third on Carlos Beltron’s RBI single, which the instant replay would show that not only did Feliz tag Wright before he has reached the bag, but he has tagged him out when he has slid past the bag, both of which would be missed by Emmel. Both arguments would help to disrupt Hamels’ rhythm and lead to the Mets taking first the lead and then the ballgame. End result, Hamels would not stay calm enough to push back the Mets and allow the Phillies to sweep their way back into a first place tie.
The Phillies (78-65) will start an important three games series with the Marlins (72-71) tonight. The first games of the three game set will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm. The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (6-12 (1-0), 4.79), who is coming off yet another no-decision, this time against the Nationals on September 3, where he went only four innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 9-7 lost. Blanton has never faced the Marlins. He will once again try to win his second start as a Phil, while trying to do better than his last start. The Marlins’ starter will be Anibal Sanchez (2-3, 5.54), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on September 2, where he went only three innings, giving up six earned runs on eight hits, in the Marlins’ 16-14 lost. In his previous start against the Phillies on August 6, he took the lost as he went five innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, in the Marlins’ 5-0 lost. He will be trying to even his record, while trying to keep the Marlins from falling any further back in the pennant race.
The Phillies trail the Mets by two games as the Mets take the day off. They are ahead of the Marlins by six games. The Phillies prepare to gain some ground on the Mets at the Marlins’ expense. In the wild card race, they are four games behind the slumping Brewers, as the Brew Crew prepare for a three games home stand with the Reds. The Phillies are a game ahead of the Cardinals, as the redbirds take the day off, while they are two games ahead of the Astros as they start a three games series with the Pirates. The Phillies hope to gain ground in both the Eastern Division and in the Wild Card chase, although at the moment they are more concerned with winning their division, although the Brewers will soon be coming into Philadelphia for four games.