The Phillies’ offense would come up short in the ninth inning as they lose to the Houston Astros, 4-3, wasting a good effort by Adam Eaton. The Phils would score first, as Pat Burrell hits a solo home run off of Astros’ starter Brandon Backe in the second inning, his twelfth home run of the year. That would be the score until the bottom of the fifth inning, as Eaton and Backe would keep both teams quiet, Backe with his slow curve and Eaton with generally good pitching. But then, in the Astros’ fifth, Eaton would give up a solo shot to Hunter Pence, for his sixth home run of the year, tying the score at one. The Astros would later threathen to take the lead by getting two men on base with one out, but Eaton would get out of the inning by getting Michael Bourn to hit into a 6-4-3 double play. The score would remain tie until the bottom of the seventh, when Pence, leading off the inning, would hit a 3-0 fastball out of the ballpark for his second home run of the night off of Eaton, his seventh home run of the year, to give the Astros a 2-1 lead. The Astros would then increase their lead to 3-1 on a Bourn single, scoring J.R. Towles, who has earlier singled. The Astros would add another run in the eighth when Carlos Lee hit a sacrifice fly off of Ryan Madson, scoring Lance Berkman, who has earlier tripled. The Phillies would try to rally back in the ninth against Astros’ closer Jose Valverde. Burrell would start the rally off with a double to center field. After moving to third on a ground out, Burrell would score on a line drive single by Pedro Feliz off of Valverde’s face, making the score 4-2 Astros. After the Astros’ trainer have taken several minutes to look Valverde over to make sure that he could continue to pitch, Carlos Ruiz would hit a single, moving Feliz to second base. After Eric Bruntlett goes in to pinch run for Ruiz, Valverde would strike out pinch hitter Chris Coste for the second out. Jimmy Rollins would then hit a line drive double, scoring Feliz and sending Bruntlett, who had to dive to get out of the way of Rollins’ line drive, to third, making the score 4-3 Houston. With two men in scoring position and two out, Shane Victorino would come to the plate. After getting the count full, Victorino would hit a fly ball to center field, ending the ballgame, as Valverde is able to nail down his fifteenth save of the year.
Adam Eaton would take the lost, as he pitches seven innings, giving up three earned runs on eight hits. His record drops to 0-3, with a ERA of 5.37. Eaton by now must be wondering what he has to do to actually win a ballgame. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning in relief, giving up an earned run on one hit. Brandon Backe would pick up the win for the Astros, as he would go seven and one-third innings, giving up only one earned run on six hits. Doug Brocail would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits as he snuffs out a Phillies’ rally in the eighth, leaving the bases loaded. Jose Valverde, in spite of being hit in the face by a line drive, would record his fifteenth save of the season as he pitches one inning, giving up two earned runs on four hits.
Despite the lost, the Phillies are still one and a half games behind the Marlins, as the fish loses their game with the Giants. They are still technically tied for second place with the Braves, .002 percentage points behind them, as the Braves were crushed in their game with the Diamondbacks. The Phils and the Braves are still leading the Mets by three games, as the Mets loses their game with the Rockies in extra-innings.
The Phillies (27-23) will continue their four games series with the Astros (28-23, 3rd National League Central) at Minute Maid Park. The game will start tonight at 7:05 pm Eastern (6:05 pm Central). The Phils’ starter will by Brett Myers (2-5, 5.76), who is coming off another lost, as he pitched six innings against the Nationals on May 19, in the Phils’ 4-0 lost, giving up only three runs on eight hits. Myers has lost four of his last five starts, with a no-decision in his other start. He’ll be looking to improve on his last start while trying to improve his record. In his previous start against the Astros, he would go seven innings, giving up only an earned run on five hits, as he picks up the win in the Phils’ 10-2 win. The Astros will send to the mound Brian Moehler (1-1, 4.76), who is coming off a lost to the Chicago Cubs on May 19, where he would pitch five innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits, in the Astros’ 7-2 lost. He will be trying to improve his record in what could be his last start in place of Wandy Rodriguez, who should be coming off the disabled list next week.
The Phils’ offense hopes to continue what they were doing on Wednesday and Thursday nights, where they scored nineteen runs on thirty hits. Although they got ten hits in last night’s game, they were only able to score three runs, thanks mainly to the slow curveballs that were being served up to them by Backe. They hope not to have similar problems with Moehler tonight.
The Phillies (27-22) continue their trip to Houston with their second of four games against the Astros (27-22, 3rd National League Central) at Minute Maid Park. The game will start at 8:05 pm Eastern (7:05 pm Central). The Phillies will send to the mound Adam Eaton (0-2, 5.59), who is coming off a lost against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 17, where he went only five innings as he gave up four earned runs on eight hits, in the Phillies’ 6-3 lost. In his previous start against the Astros back on April 15, he would pitch six innings as he gave up three earned runs on seven hits while receiving a no-decision, in the Phils’ dramatic 4-3 come from behind win. Eaton will be looking for his first win of the year while Phillies fans wonder how much longer he’ll stay in the starting rotation. The Astros will counter with Brandon Backe (3-5, 4.58), who is coming off a win against the Texas Rangers on May 18, where he pitched six and a third innings, giving up only three earned runs on five hits, in the Astros’ 5-4 victory. In his previous start against the Phils on April 17, he took the lost as he pitched only three innings as he gave up five earned runs on ten hits, in the Astros’ 10-2 lost. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to get even for his earlier defeat at the hands of the Phillies’ offense.
Speaking of the offense, after being able to score only one run in the first eighteen innings of their series in Washington against the Nationals, the Phils have since then scored ninteen runs in the last eighteen innings. While some runs have come via the long ball, most of them have come via the use of small ball. Hopefully it’ll continue during the rest of their road trip. Also, Ryan Howard appears to be on a hitting tear, as he has gone six for his last ten at bats, hitting two doubles and three home runs, while knocking in six RBIs and scoring four runs. Howard is now hitting over .200 with a batting average of .207. But Howard appears to be not the only Phils on a tear as Shane Victorino has just raised his batting average to .263 as he has gotten eight hits in his last four starts, including two doubles and a home run. And Pedro Feliz in his last three starts has gone seven for thirteen with a home run, raising his average to .252. Hopefully the bats will continue to strike during their stay in Houston.
The Phillies are a game and a half behind the Marlins, who will start a three games series in Miami against the Giants. They are technically tied for second with the Braves, trailing them by .002 percentage points, as they begin a four games series at home against the presently reeling Diamonbacks. Both they and the Braves are three games ahead of the Mets, who are continuing their own road trip with a three games series with the Rockies in Denver. After Sunday’s afternoon game with the Astros, the Phils will come home to start a ten games home stand, starting with a three games series with the reigning National League Champion Colorado Rockies. The Phillies will be trying to keep pace with the Marlins and Braves while trying to stay even further ahead of the presently floundering Mets.
Pat Burrell’s pitch hit home run help lead the Phillies to victory last night over the Houston Astros, 7-5. The Astros would score first in the bottom of the first on a Lance Berkman RBI double off of Phils’ starter Kyle Kendrick, scoring Miguel Tejada, who has reached base earlier on a force out, making it 1-0 Astros. The Phils would tie the game in the second on a RBI single by Carlos Ruiz, knocking in Ryan Howard who has earlier singled. The Astros would regain the lead on a sacrifice fly by Brad Ausmus, scoring Hunter Pence, who has earlier walked. The Phils would then take the lead in the top of the third, scoring three runs off of usually more effective Astros’ starter Roy Oswalt. The first Phillies run would come in on a RBI double by Howard, knocking in Shane Victorino, who has earlier walk, tying the game at two runs apiece. Pedro Feliz then singles in Chase Utley, who has gotten on base earlier with a single, giving the Phils a 3-2 lead. Howard would then score on Geoff Jenkins’ sacrifice fly, making the score 4-2 Phils. The Phils would then increase their lead in the fifth on a Ryan Howard solo home run, his thirteenth of the season, and his third in two days, making it 5-2 Phils. But, then, in the sixth, Kendrick, who has been able to keep the Astros at bay for the last three innings, finally runs out of gas. After hitting Carlos Lee, and then giving up a single to Pence, he gives up a double to Ty Wigginton. The double would score both Lee and Pence, making it a 5-4 Phillies lead. Charlie Manuel would then come to the mound and replace Kendrick with Ryan Madson, with a runner on second and nobody out. After a sacrifice bunt by Ausmus puts Wigginton on third, Madson is replaced by J.C. Romero, to try and save the game for Kendrick. Unfortunately, Romero is not able to get the job done, as he gives up a single to pinch hitter Geoff Blum, scoring Ausmus, thus giving a no-decision to Kendrick, before he finally gets out of the inning. The Astros would replace Oswalt at the start of the seventh inning, thus leaving the game in the hands of both teams’ bullpens. With neither side scoring in the seventh, Pat Burrell would come up as a pinch hitter to start the eighth inning against Wesley Wright, who was starting his second inning of relief. On a 3-2 pitch, Burrell hits the ball out of the ballpark for a pinch hit home run, his eleventh home run of the season, giving the Phils a 6-5 lead. The Astros quickly replace Wright with Fernando Nieve. With two men on and two out, Nieve would be replaced by Tim Byrdak. Byrdak would then give up a RBI single to Utley, which scores Eric Bruntlett, who was pinch running for Jayson Werth, who has earlier reached base on a force out, increasing the Phils lead to 7-5. After Tom Gordon pitches a 1-2-3 eighth, the Phils would hand the ball over to Brad Lidge to save the game in the ninth. After getting a strike out and then a ground out, Lidge would give up a single to Tejada, bringing to the plate Berkman. With one pitch, Lidge would get Berkman to fly out, thus getting his twelfth save in as many chances, as he preserves the victory.
Kyle Kendrick would get a no-decision as he pitches five innings plus three batters, giving up five earned runs on eight hits. Ryan Madson would pitch one third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. J.C. Romero would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit, earning a blown save. Chad Durbin would get the win for the Philles, as he pitches an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. His record is now 1-1, with a 2.08 ERA. Tom Gordon would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hit. Brad Lidge would get his twelfth save of the year, as he gives up no run on one hit in one inning of work against his former club. Tom Oswalt would also get a no-decision while not pitching very effectively, as he goes six innings, giving up five earned runs on eleven hits. Wesley Wright would get the lost for Houston, as he goes an inning and one batter, giving up an earned run on one hit, Pat Burrell’s pitch hit home run. Fernando Nieve would pitch a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Tim Byrdak would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Oscar Villarreal would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on one hit.
The Phillies (27-22) will continue their four game visit with the Astros (27-22, 3rd National League Central) with a night game at Minute Maid Park. The game will begin at 8:05 pm (7:05 pm Central). The Phils’ starter will be Adam Eaton (0-2, 5.59), who is coming off his second lost of the year at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays on May 17. In that game, he gave up four earned runs on eight hits, as he would go only five innings, in the Phils’ 6-3 lost. As Eaton continues to look for his first win, he hopes to do better then he did in his previous start against the Astros, back on April 15 at Citizens Bank Park, where he went six innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hit as he took a no-decision in the Phils’ 4-3 come from behind win. Meanwhile, Phillies fans are wondering how much longer Eaton will remain in the starting rotation. The Astros will counter with Brandon Backe (3-5, 4.58), who is coming off a win against the Texas Rangers on May 18, where he pitched six and one third innings, giving up only three earned runs on six hits, in the Astros’ 5-4 win. He hopes to improve his record, while getting even with the Phils for his earlier lost to them on April 17, where he gave up five earned runs on ten hits, while pitching only three innings, in the Astros’ 10-2 lost.
The Phils hope that their just revised offense will continue to score runs, as they continue to trail the Marlins by a game and a half, as the fish have just finished their three games sweep of the Diamondbacks. The Phillies are still in a technical tie for second place with the Braves, now trailing them by .002 percentage points as they have just finished their own four games sweep of the Mets, who are now trailing both the Braves and Phils by three games. As the Phillies continue their road trip to Houston, the Marlins will start a three games series at home against the Giants, while the Braves will stay home to face the Diamondbacks for four games and the Mets will go on to Denver to face the Rockies for three. The Phils hope to both finish their present road trip on a winning note and to stay pace with both the presently streaking Marlins and Braves.