Behind Jamie Moyer, the Phillies have placed themselves a game behind the Mets in the National League East. Moyer defeated the Mets as he threw seven shut out innings, giving up only two infield singles. The Phillies would score their first run in the second inning, when, with runners on second and third and one man out, Matt Stairs would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Jayson Werth, who has earlier walked and has gone to third on Greg Dobbs’ double, on a ball that right fielder Fernando Tatis would misplay, giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead. The Phillies would increase their lead to 2-0 as Carlos Ruiz would hit a RBI single, scoring Dobbs. The Phillies would then put the game away in the fourth. Ryan Howard would start the inning off with a double. Howard would then move to third on Werth’s single, putting runners on the corners. Dobbs would then follow with a three-run home run, which was just out of the reach of Tatis’ glove, his eighth home run of the year, to give the Phillies a 5-0 lead. The Phillies would make it 6-0 four batters later, as Jimmy Rollins would hit a RBI double on a fly ball that would fall in between shortstop Jose Reyes and left fielder Nick Evans, scoring Ruiz, who got on base with a double and would then move to third on Moyer’s ground out, pitcher to first. Moyer would then get control of the game, keeping the Mets from getting more than two infield singles off of him before he is finally taken out of the game after pitching seven shut out innings. Scott Eyre would be given the ball for the eighth. After getting out the first two batters, Eyre would run into some temporary buzzard luck. Nick Evans would get on base with a double. David Wright would follow with a double, scoring Evans, and making it 6-1 Phillies. Carlos Beltran would then hit the third straight Mets’ double, scoring Wright, making it 6-2 Phillies. Beltran would then go to third on Greg Golson’s fielding error. Eyre would finally end the inning by striking out Carlos Delgado, although he would be poed by his performance as he kicked the dirt on the way to the dugout. The Phillies would then send Ryan Madson to start the ninth. After striking out Tatis, Madson would give up a single to Damion Easley. Charlie Manuel would then come out and replace him with J.C. Romero. Romero would then get pinch hitter Daniel Murphy to hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the ballgame.
Jamie Moyer would get the win as he pitches seven shut out innings of two hit ball. His record is now 13-7 with an ERA of 3.64. Scott Eyre would pitch an inning, giving up two earned runs on three hits while striking out two. Ryan Madson and J.C. Romero would combine for a scoreless ninth, giving up only one hit (Madson). Pedro Martinez would receive the lost as he went only four innings, giving up six earned runs on seven hits. His record is now 5-4 with a 5.44 ERA. Brandon Knight, Scott Schoeneweis, Aaron Heilman, Pedro Feliciano, Nelson Figueroa and Duaner Sanchez would pitch a combine total of five scoreless innings, giving up only two hits (Heilman and Sanchez one hit apiece).
The Phillies’ offense would do a lot of damage against Pedro Martinez, knocking in six runs, and doing it with four doubles and a home run, as they made him throw a lot of pitches before he is finally removed before the start of the fifth inning. At the same time, Jamie Moyer would keep the Mets off-balance for seven innings, giving up only two infield singles.
The second game of the doubleheader will be a battle between team aces that will be televised nationally on ESPN. The game will be played at Shea Stadium and will start at 8:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ (78-64) starter will be Cole Hamels (12-8, 3.01), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on September 2, as he went seven and one-third shut out innings, giving up five scattered hits, in the Phillies’ 4-0 win. Hamels has won three of his last four starts, all quality starts, while being dominating in the two starts that were shown before a national audience. He will be trying for his thirteenth win, while trying to win his third straight start in the national spotlight, and put the Phils back into a first place tie with the Mets. The Mets (79-63) will counter with Johan Santana (12-7, 2.71), who is coming off a no-decision against the Brewers on September 1, as he went six innings, giving up two earned runs on seven hits, in the Mets’ 4-2 win. In his last start against the Phillies on August 27 he would leave the game early, receiving a no-decision as he went only six innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits, in the Mets’ 6-3 come from behind win. His record against the Phillies in four previous starts is 1-0 with three no-decisions. He will be trying for his second win against the Phillies while trying to keep the Phillies’ offense quiet.
The Phillies are now trailing the Mets by a game as they prepare for the second game of the day/night doubleheader, while staying six and a half games ahead of the Marlins as they lost their last two games against the Cardinals. In the wild card chase, the Phillies are now trailing the Brewers by three and a half games, as the Brewers split their last two games with the Padres, and are a game and a half in front of the Cardinals and two and a half in front of the Astros. The Phillies will be trying for a sweep of the Mets, to leave New York City tied for the National League East lead.
The Phillies let another game slip out of their hands as they blow another lead, losing to the Cubs, 3-2. And, to add insult to injury, a bad umpire’s call may have hurt them this time. Like yesterday, the Phillies would score first, as, with two men on and two outs, Pat Burrell would hit a RBI single, knocking in Chase Utley, who has been hit by the pitch, and then would move up to second on Ryan Howard’s walk, giving the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead. The game would then become a pitchers’ duel between two former A’s teammates, Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton and Cubs’ starter Rich Harden. As the Phillies’ batter would be patient at the plate, causing Harden’s pitch count to rise, Blanton would breeze quickly through the first four innings, giving up only a lead-off walk and a hit. The Phillies would finally get their second run off of Harden when, with a runner on first and two outs, Howard would hit a single to right, with Utley, who has gotten on first with a single, would go to third on the hit. Cubs’ right fielder Kosuke Fukudome would then commit a throwing error, which would allow Utley to score, to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. The Cubs would cut the Phillies’ lead to 2-1, as, with runners on the corners on and one out, Daryle Ward would hit a ground ball to Utley. Utley would throw to Jimmy Rollins for the inning’s second out, removing Henry Blanco, who has earlier singled, but he would then make an errant throw to first, which would pull Howard off the first base bag, because of Blanco’s slide which would force Rollins to make a quick throw when he actually have time to throw out Ward, which would not be recorded as an error. The blunder would allow Mark DeRose, who has earlier walked, stole second and has moved to third on Blanco’s single, to score the Cubs’ first run. Blanton would then end the inning by getting Alfonso Soriano to pop out. Blanton would then melt down on the mound in the sixth, as he proceed to walk first Ryan Theriot and then Derrick Lee. After getting out the next two batters, with the runners both moving up a base on the second out, he would then walk DeRosa to load the bases. That was enough for Charlie Manuel, as he would come out to take out Blanton and replace him with Scott Eyre. Eyre would, unfortunatley, walk Fukudome on five pitches, forcing in Theriot, and tying the game at two all, while leaving the bases loaded. Eyre would end the inning by striking out Blanco. In the seventh, the Phillies would try to retake the lead, with runners on the corners and two out, Howard would hit a ball at Cubs’ first baseman Lee, who would proceed to boot the ball, but would somehow be able to throw it in time to pitcher Jeff Samardzija, to get out Howard. This would lead to an argument between Howard, Manuel, Davey Lopes and first base umpire Chris Guccione, while, according to the Phillies’ announcers, Howard, Lopes and Manuel had a point as Howard would actually beat Lee’s throw to first, which would have given the Phillies the lead with Rollins, who was safe on a force out, moved to second on Shane Victorino’s walk and has gone to third during another force out, coming across the plate during the play. Third base coach Steve Smith would eventually be ejected from the game by home plate umpire Bill Welke for still arguing the call. This would turn out to be huge, as, in the Cubs’ half of the seventh, with one out, Clay Condrey would give up a solo home run to Soriano, his twenty-third home run of the year, to give the Cubs a 3-2 lead. This would be the final score, as the Phillies would be unable to score in the eighth inning, and after turning back the Cubs in their half of the eighth, would be unable to get anything done in the ninth, as Carlos Marmol would record his seventh save of the season.
Joe Blanton would get a no-decision as he pitches five and two-thirds innings, giving up only two earned runs on two hits and five very costly walks. Scott Eyre would get his second blown save of the season, as he pitches a third of an inning, giving up only one walk, which sadly brought in the tying run, and one strikeout. Clay Condrey would get the lost as he pitches an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. His record is now 3-4 with a 3.58 ERA. Rudy Seanez would also pitch an inning, as he gives up no run on one hit. Rich Harden would also receive a no-decision as he would only last five innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on three hits. Chad Gaudin would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit. Jeff Samardzija would get the win as he pitches an inning and a third, giving up no runs on two hits. Carlos Marmol would get his seventh save of the year as he pitches one and two-thirds innings of scoreless ball, giving up no hits while striking out three.
Multiply factors would kill the Phillies today. First, Blanton’s five walks. Four of those walks would lead to the two runs that he would give up, especially the three walks that he would give up in the sixth inning, loading the bases. Although it would be Scott Eyre who would walk home the tying run, it would never have happened if Blanton had been able to throw strikes when he needed to, especially after getting ahead of the hitters. Secondly, the offense. Although they would force Rich Harden to leave the game early by getting him to work long pitch counts, they would be unable to get a key hit when they needed it when they threaten to score in the early innings. Business as usual for the offense. Third, Jimmy Rollins’ blunder in the fifth, when he could’ve taken his time to throw to first for the third out on Daryle Ward’s grounder to Utley, but instead would rush his throw because of Harry Blanco coming at him to break up the double play. Instead of the score staying 2-0 Phils, it became 2-1 Phillies because he would force Ryan Howard off of the bag to keep it from going past him. And lastly, the umpire’s call in the seventh inning on Howard’s grounder to first that would bounce off of Derrick Lee’s glove. According to instant reply, Howard has actually beaten Samardzija to the bag, but first base umpire Chris Guccione would call Howard out. The broadcasters think that this is the result of the same umpire earlier calling Utley safe on the previous play when he might’ve been beaten by the throw. If it is, it really stinks! as it kept the Phillies from retaking the lead. Oh man, how much more of this do we Phillies’ fan have to suffer through before we all go mad? Or when will all of this buzzard luck finally start to go our boys’ way?
The Phillies (73-62) will continue their four games series with the Cubs (85-50, 1st National League Central), now trying for a split in the series. The game will be nationally televised by Fox Sports and will start at 3:55 pm Eastern (2:55 pm Central) in Wrigley Field. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (7-10, 4.49), who is coming off a win against the Dodgers on August 25, as he pitches seven shut out innings, giving up nine scattered hits while striking out eight, in the Phillies’ 5-0 win. He will be trying to pitch his six straight quality start since returning from the minors and improving his record to 5-1 in his last eight starts, while trying to stop the Phillies’ present slide at three games. The Cubs’ starter will be Ted Lilly (13-7, 4.23), who is coming off a win against the Pirates on August 25, as he went seven innings, giving up only three earned run on seven hits while striking out seven, in the Cubs’ 12-3 rout. He will be trying to see if he can continue the Cubs’ seven game winning streak and continue the Phillies’ current losing streak.
With the lost, the Phillies are presently trailing the Mets by two game and lead the Marlins by five games, as the Mets defeated the Marlins. The Phillies will be trying to regroup so that they can come back and split the series before continuing their long road trip.
Ryan Madison blows a save opportunity in the eight inning as he runs into some buzzard luck as the Phillies are denied a sweep of the Nationals, losing 4-3. The first five innings of the game would involve a pitchers’ duel between veteran Jamie Moyer and the Nationals’ starter Tim Redding. Moyer would only give up a single and two walks in the first five innings, while Redding would give up just a single and a walk, while at one point getting out twelve Phils in a row. The Nationals would finally break the scoreless tie in the sixth, when, with two men on, and one out, Lastings Milledge would hit a grounder to third. Pedro Feliz, who was reactived last night, would throw to second base, forcing out Cristian Guzman, who has gotten on base with a single, for the innings’ second out, but Guzman’s take out slide would cause Chase Utley to throw widely of first for a throwing error, an error that Ryan Howard could have prevented by getting off the bag to block the ball, which would allow Anderson Hernandez, who has earlier singled and has moved to second on Guzman’s single, to score, giving the Nats a 1-0 lead, as Milledge would be safe on the error, moving up to second on the errant throw. Moyer would end the inning by getting Ronnie Belliard to ground out, short to first. The Phillies would tie it in their half of the inning, when, with a runner on second and two out Chase Utley would single in Jayson Werth, who has earlier doubled. The Nats would retake the lead in the seventh, when, with runners on second and third, and two outs, Moyer would give up a RBI single to Hernandez off of Jimmy Rollins’ glove, scoring Austin Kearns, who has earlier walked and has gone to third on Willie Harris’ single, to give the Nats a 2-1 lead. That would be it for Moyer, as he would be taken out for Chad Durbin, while being given a standing ovation by the fans for his effort. Durbin would quickly end the inning by geting Guzman to ground out to first base. The Phillies would then strike back in their half of the inning, as, with one out, Shane Victorino would get an infield single and then go to third on Ryan Zimmerman’s two-base throwing error. Victorino would then score on pitch hitter Greg Dobbs’ ground out on the drawn in infied, second to first, to tie the score at two. The Phillies would then take the lead on Carlos Ruiz’s solo home run, his third home run of the year, to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead. The lead would then vanish in the eighth inning, as Ryan Madson would run into some buzzard luck while on the mound. It would start when Zimmerman hit a ground ball to third, which would hit the third base bag and then bounce high into the air, before it finally came down to be caught by Feliz, who by then would have no play at first as Zimmerman would get an infield single. The next batter, Milledge, would then pop a fly ball into right field that would fall in for a hit, putting runners on first and second with no body out. After Belliard bunts the runners over to second and third for the inning’s first out, Jesus Flores would get an infield single off of Utley’s glove, tying the game at three all, and putting runners on the corners. Kearns would then hit a hard ball up the middle for a single, scoring Milledge, giving the Nationals a 4-3 lead, and moving Flores to second. Madson is then replaced with J.C. Romero. Romero would proceed to end the inning by striking out Harris and pinch hitter Wil Nieves. The Phillies would threaten to tie the game in both the eighth and the ninth, but would be unable to get a key hit as Nats’ closer Joel Hanrahan would come in to pitch two innings of shut out ball, recording his fourth save of the year and ending the Nats’ twelve games losing streak.
Jamie Moyer would get a no-decision as he pitched six and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits. Chad Durbin would pitch a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. Ryan Madson would get the lost as he blew his second save, going a third of an inning, giving up two earned runs on four hits, only one of which was actually a clean hit ball. His record is now 3-2 with an ERA of 3.38. J.C. Romero would go two-thirds of an inning, striking out both man that he would face. Clay Condrey pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk. Tim Redding would also get a no-decision, as he pitched six innings, giving up only one earned run on three hits. Saul Rivera would get the win while also receiving his fifth blown save of the year, as he pitches an inning, giving up two earned runs on three hits. Joel Hanrahan would record his fourth save as he pitched two innings of shut out ball, giving up two hits and a walk while striking out one as he kept the Phillies from being able to tie the game.
The Phillies’ bullpen would be as much of a culprit in last night’s lost as was the Phillies’ offense, which did not do anything until the bottom of the sixth inning, and would once again be unable to get the key hit in the eighth and ninth innings. But in Madson’s defense, he got hit by what I tend to call buzzard luck. What I mean by that is that things happen that at any other time would not happen, and seems to happen to the Phillies once too many times. The ground ball that would hit the third base bag and go up into the air for an infield hit, the pop up that would drop in between Chase Utley and Jayson Werth before either of them could reach the ball and the infield single off of Utley’s glove that would allow the tying run to score in the eighth, along with the single off of Rollins’ glove in the previous seventh inning, are all examples of buzzard luck. It drives me nuts when that happens, since I know that I have no one to blame for those situations other than dame luck, and even then, you can’t blame her when the situation is just plain goofy. So, while Madson blew the save and got the loss, it was mainly because he got hit with buzzard luck.
The Phillies (68-59) will start a four games series tonight with the Dodgers (65-62, 2nd National League West). The first game of the series will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (10-7, 5.01), who is coming off his second straight bad start against the Padres on August 16, where he is only able to go three and two-thirds innings, giving up six earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 8-3 lost. His only start against the Dodgers this year, on August 11, would be an equally rough start, as he would go only three and a third innings, giving up seven earned runs on nine hits, in the Phillies’ 8-6 lost. He will be looking to rebound from those two loses, trying to regain his agressiveness and trying to get his eleventh win of the season. His opponent, returning like a horror film nightmare, is Phillies’ killer Greg Maddux (6-9, 3.99), who has just been acquired by the Dodgers to take the place of injured starter Brad Penny. His last start was against the Phillies for the Padres on August 15, where he would pitch seven innings, giving up only an earned run on five hits, in the Padres’ 1-0 lost. This would be his first start as a Dodgers, but he would have faced the Phillies in two starts for the Padres, going 0-2 as he would pitch thirteen and a third innings, giving up five earned runs on thirteen hits. He will be trying for his first win this year against the Philles while trying to make it five straight wins against the Phillies for the Dodgers.
The Phillies are now trailing the Mets by two and a half games, thanks to last night’s lost, while the Mets prepare for a four games series with the Astros in New York. The Phillies are ahead of the Marlins by three and a half games, as the fish prepare for a three games series with the D-backs in Phoenix. The Phillies hope to regain some ground in the East while trying to get even with the Dodgers for last week’s sweep.