Tagged: Charlie Manuel

Dear Santa…

This is what I am hoping that the Phils will do in 2012:

1) That Ryan Howard, when he returned from his injury, will learn not to swing at the pitcher’s junk, and to take a walk when it is being offered to him;

2) That Chase Utley will be able to make a comeback from last year’s injury, and will be willing to take a day off, when told to;

3) That Placido Polanco will be able to recover from his previous two seasons worth of injuries;

4) That the retooled bench will be able to contribute during the season;

5) That Uncle Chuck learns to love playing small ball;

6) That at least one of the team’s top three starters (Halladay, Lee, Hamels) will end up with 20 wins, and that the other two will end up with at least 15;

7) That Vance Worley will improve over last year’s performance;

8) That the Phils will be able to sign Cole Hamels to a multi-year contract;

and lastly, 9) That the Phils will get back into the World Series, and not be the stepping stone for another National League team during the playoffs.

The Phils have just announced…

…that all of their coaches will be back for the 2012 season. This means that pitching coach Rich Dubee, hitting coach Greg Gross, bench coach Pete Mackanin, bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer, first base coach Sam Perlozzo and third base coach Juan Samuel have all signed contracts for 2012.  I will be the first to admit, that I have no problem with the stability of the coaching staff. The problem, sadly, is at the top. I hate to say it, but, in spite of GM Ruben Amaro saying that he want to see changes made in the way that the Phils’ offense operates, the only way that will happen is for the manager, Charlie Manuel, to start practicing some small ball, and I can not see him doing that. I just think that he is just too set in his ways, thinking that the long ball (home runs) will get the team wins. Well, that might work during the regular season, it have not seem to work during the playoffs of the last two years, especially with the way the team is presently structured. Of course, we won’t really know what will happen until we all see what the team does during spring training of 2012. Right now, unless somethinge really bad happens, they’re the favorite to win the East next season. I just hope that they’ll find a way to win it all between now and next October.

2011 National League Divisional Series, Game #3: The Phils retake the series lead thanks to Ben Francisco’s pinch hit three-run home run, as they hang on to defeat the Cards, 3-2.

The Phils retake the lead in the divisional series as they ride Ben Francisco’s pinch hit three-run home run, before hanging on to defeat the Cards, 3-2.

The first six innings of the game featured a pitchers’ duel between Cards’ starter Jaime Garcia, who kept the Phils off-balance, while giving up only four hits and a walk, while striking out three, and Phils’ starter Cole Hamels, who would pitch himself out of trouble in the first, fourth and sixth innings, as he gave up just five hits and three walks, while striking out eight. The Phils then put pressure on Garcia in the seventh as Shane Victorino got on base with a single, before going to second base on a Yadier Molina passed ball, before Garcia got the next two batters out with a fly out to right (John Mayberry, Jr.) and a ground out (Placido Polanco), 5-3. After Carlos Ruiz is intentionally walked, the Phils sent Ben Francisco to pinch hit for Hamels. After getting a ball, Francisco drills one into the Phils’ bullpen in left, to give the Phils a 3-0 lead on his pinch hit home run, his first home run of the series, knocking in both Victorino and Ruiz. The Cards then started a comeback in their half of the seventh. After Vance Worley started the inning off by getting Rafael Furcal to ground out, 3-unassisted, for the inning’s first out, he walks Allen Craig, before giving up a single to Albert Pujols, which would send Craig up to second base. Lance Berkman then followed by hitting into a force out, 4-6, that would wipe out Pujols at second base for the inning’s second out, while Craig would reach third base, while Berkman would be safe at first, putting runners on the corners. The Cards then got on the board as David Freese hits an RBI single to center, knocking in Craig, cutting the Phils’ lead down to 3-1, while sending Berkman up to second base. Worley would finally end the inning by getting Molina to fly out to right. After the Phils are kept from scoring in the top of the eighth, the Cards attempted a rally in their half of the eighth as Ryan Theriot started the inning off with a single. Charlie Manuel then came out and replaced Worley with Antonio Bastardo, who then proceeded to get pinch hitter Nick Punto to fly out to center for the inning’s first out. Manuel then came back out and replaced Bastardo with Brad Lidge. That move seems to backfire as he gives up a single to pinch hitter Matt Holliday, moving Theriot up to second base, before he is replaced at first by pinch runner Adron Chambers. The next batter, Furcal, then loaded up the bases with a single to left, sending Theriot on to third base, while Chambers would stop at second base. Manuel then came back out, and took out Lidge, replacing him with his closer Ryan Madson. That move was rewarded with Craig hitting into a 4-3 doubleplay, as Furcal is wiped out at second base, to end the threat. After the Phils are unable to add an insurance run in the top of the ninth, Madson went back out to attempt a five-out save. He is greeted with a lead-off double by Pujols, which was his fourth hit of the ballgame, and his third double of the game. After Madson gets Berkman to fly out to center for the inning’s first out, he gets Freese to ground out, 4-3, for the inning’s second out, as Pujols moved up to third. Now, with a man on third, Madson tried to get out Molina to end the game. Molina, instead, hits the first pitch he saw into center field for an RBI single, knocking in Pujols, making it a 3-2 Phils’ lead. After Molina is replaced by pinch runner Kyle Lohse, Madson went after Theriot, who had already been on base with four hits, all singles. But, he wasn’t able to get hit no. five as Madson got him to ground out, 4-3, for the final out, collecting his first save of the series.

Cole Hamels (1-0, 0.00) gets the win as he pitched six scoreless innings, giving up five hits and three walks, while striking out eight. Vance Worley received his first hold of the series as he pitched an inning plus a batter, giving up a run on three hits. Antonio Bastardo received his first hold of the series as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Brad Lidge pitched to two batters, giving up two hits. Ryan Madson collected his first save of the series as he pitched an inning and two-thirds, giving up a run on two hits, as he recorded a very rare five-out save. Jaime Garcia (0-1, 3.86) took the lost as he pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out three. Fernando Salas and Jason Motte combined for two scoreless innings, as they gave up a hit (Motte), while striking out a batter (Motte), between them.

The Phils had only seven hits in the ballgame, with Jimmy Rollins leading the team with two hits, a single and a double. Chase Utley (Single), Shane Victorino (Single), Placido Polanco (Single, his first hit of the series), Carlos Ruiz (single, his first hit of the series) and pinch hitter Ben Francisco (Home Run, his first hit of the series, 3 RBIs), had the other five Phils’ hits, with Francisco becoming the surprising hero of the game with his pinch hit shot to left.

The Phils, now with a 2-1 game lead in the divisional series, will continue the series with the Cards (2-1) in St. Louis. The game will be played in Busch Stadium (III) and will begin at 6:07 pm EDT (5:07 pm CDT). The Phils will send to the mound Roy Oswalt (9-10, 3.69), who will be trying to pitch the Phils into the NL Championship Series for the fourth straight year. The Cards will attempt to counter with Edwin Jackson (12-9, 3.79), who will be trying to force a fifth game back in Philly. The Phils will be trying to clinch their fourth straight appearance in the NL Championship Series, hoping that Oswalt will be at his best while the offense will do what it can to give him much needed run support, while watching out for the Cards putting out all the stops to force a game five.

2011 National League Divisional Series, Game #1: The Phils offense romp behind their ace, as they rout the Cards, 11-6.

After trailing early, the Phils’ offense roar for eleven runs in support of the team’s ace, Roy Halladay, as they rout the Cards, 11-6.

The Cards took a quick 3-0 lead as, with two men on, and with one man out, Lance Berkman hits the first pitch he saw into the right field seats for a three-run home run, his first home run of the series, knocking in Rafael Furcal, who had started the game off with a single, before stealing second base, and Albert Pujols, who had just walked on four pitches. The Phils got a run back in the fourth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Shane Victorino, after being given an extra life as third baseman David Freese committed a pop foul error, hits an RBI single, knocking in Chase Utley, who had earlier doubled, the Phils’ first hit of the game, after being put down 1-2-3 in the first three innings by Cards’ starter Kyle Lohse, cutting the Cards’ lead down to 3-1, while sending Ryan Howard, who had just been walked, up to second base. The Phils then took the lead in the sixth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Howard hits a three-run bomb to right, his first home run of the series, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second base on Hunter Pence’s single, and Pence, who had just singled, giving the Phils a 4-3 lead. Two batters later, after Victorino had reached base with his second single of the ballgame, Raul Ibanez hits a two-run bomb of his own, his first home run of the series, knocking in Victorino, giving the Phils a 6-3 lead. The Phils then added to their lead in the seventh as, with the bases loaded, via singles by Roy Halladay, Rollins, his second of the game, sending Halladay up to second base, and Utley, his second hit of the ballgame, moving both Halladay and Rollins up a base, and with one man out, as Pence hits into a force out, 1-2, as Halladay is thrown out at the plate, while Rollins and Utley both moved up a base, Howard hits a sacrifice fly, which had sounded like it would leave the ballpark, scoring Rollins, giving the Phils a 7-3 lead. The Phils then made it an 8-3 lead as Victorino hits an RBI single, his third hit of the ballgame, scoring Utley, while sending Pence up to second base. The Phils then took a 9-3 lead as Ibanez hits an RBI single, his second hit of the game, knocking in Pence, while sending Victorino on to third base. The Phils then made it an 11-3 lead in the eighth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Pence hits a two-run single, his second hit of the game, knocking in Rollins, who had earlier walked, then went to third on Utley’s double, and Utley, who had just doubled, his second double of the ballgame, and his third hit. The Phils in the ninth then gave the ball to Michael Stutes, his first post-season appearance, after Halladay had put down twenty-one straight Cards, after giving up a lead-off single in the second to Skip Schumaker, starting with a fantastic play by Howard on a grounder hit to him by Jon Jay for a 1-3 put out, to close out the game. But it wasn’t to be as, four batters latter, with runners on the corners, thanks to a walk to Allen Craig, a single by Pujols, as he moved Craig up to second base, before he is then replaced by pinch runner Gerald Laird, and then a force out on a grounder hit by Berkman, 4-6, as Laird is wiped out at second base, as Craig reached third, and with two men out, the Cards made it an 11-4 Phils’ lead as pinch hitter Adron Chambers hits an RBI single, knocking in Craig, while sending Berkman up to second base. After the Cards had loaded up the bases on a single by Yadier Molina, moving up a base both Berkman and Chambers, and still with one man out, Phils manager Charlie Manuel decided to replace Stutes with his closer Ryan Madson. Schumaker greets Madson with a two-run double, on a ball that glances off of John Mayberry, Jr’s glove in left, then went all the way to the fence, knocking in both Berkman and Chambers, cutting the Phils’ lead down to 11-6, while sending Molina on to third. But that would be it as Madson buckled down and proceeded to strike out, swinging, both Jay and pinch hitter Matt Holliday, for the final outs.

Roy Halladay (1-0, 3.38) gets the win as he pitched eight innings, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk, while striking out eight. Michael Stutes pitched a third of an inning, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk. Ryan Madson pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit, while striking out two. Kyle Lohse (0-1, 8.44) took the lost as he went five and one-third innings, giving up six runs, five of which were earned, on seven hits and a walk, while striking out four. Octavio Dotel pitched two-thirds of an inning, striking out both men that he would face. Marc Rzepczynski pitched to three batters, getting out none, as he gave up three runs on three hits. Mitchell Boggs pitched an inning and two-thirds, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Arthur Rhodes pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face.

The Phils’ offense, after a slow start, pounded out fourteen hits, with Shane Victorino (Singles, 2 RBIs) and Chase Utley (Single, 2 Doubles) both leading the team with three hits each. Jimmy Rollins (Singles), Hunter Pence (Singles, 2 RBIs), and Raul Ibanez (Home Run, Single, 3 RBIs) all followed with two hits apiece. Ryan Howard (Home Run,  4 RBIs) and Roy Halladay (Single), had the other two Phils’ hits, as Howard had his first post-season RBIs since 2009.

The Phils (1-0) will continue their divisional series with the Cards (0-1) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and is to begin at 8:37 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Cliff Lee (17-8, 2.40), who will be out to lead the Phils to a sweep at home. The Cards will counter with Chris Carpenter (11-9, 3.45), who will be pitching on three days rest, trying to send the Cards back to St. Louis with a split. The Phils will be going out to put themselves in the driver seat, planning to beat up on Carpenter, when the series heads for St. Louis.

33 games in 31 days: Game #33: The Phils set two new franchise records in wins, while keeping the Braves out of the playoffs, as they win in extra-innings, 4-3.

The Phils set a pair of new franchise records in wins as they end the Braves chances of getting into the post-season, as they win in thirteen innings, 4-3.

The Phils took the lead in the first as, with one man on, and with two men out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI double, knocking in Hunter Pence, who had just walked, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Braves would tie the game up at one-all in their half of the first as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Chipper Jones hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Michael Bourn, who had earlier singled, stole second base, then went to third on Martin Prado’s ground out, 6-3. The Braves took the lead in the third as, with one man on, and with two men out, Dan Uggla hits a two-run home run, his thirty-sixth home run of the season, knocking in Prado, who had earlier reached base on an infield single to third baseman Placido Polanco, then moved up to second base as Bourn, who had earlier singled, then stole second, was thrown out trying to steal third, 2-6, for the inning’s first out, giving the Braves a 3-1 lead. The Phils cut the Braves’ lead to 3-2 in the seventh as, with runners on the corners, via a double by Raul Ibanez and an infield single to second baseman Uggla by Polanco, sending Ibanez to third, and with one man out, Ibanez scores on a force attempt fielding error committed by shortstop Jack Wilson on a grounder hit by Carlos Ruiz, allowing Polanco to be safe at second base, while Ruiz would reach first, making it a 3-2 Braves’ lead. The Phils tied the game up at three-all in the ninth as, with the bases loaded, via a single by Polanco, who was then pinch run for by Pete Orr, and walks to pinch hitter Ben Francisco and Jimmy Rollins, and with one man out, Chase Utley hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Orr. The Phils then took the lead in the thirteenth as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Pence hits an RBI single, scoring Brian Schneider, who had earlier walked, then went to third on Utley’s single, giving the Phils a 4-3 lead, while sending Utley, who had just singled, on to third base. That would end up being the final score as David Herndon would record his first career save as he got Freddie Freeman to hit into a 3-6-3 doubleplay, wiping out at second base Uggla, who had earlier walked, ending the Phils’ regular season with a franchise best 102nd win, while giving Charlie Manuel his 646th win as their manager, putting him ahead of Gene Mauch for the most wins as a Phil manager.

Joe Blanton received a no-decision as he went two innings, giving up a run on three hits, while striking out four. Cole Hamels pitched three innings, giving up two runs on four hits, while striking out a batter. Vance Worley, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Michael Stutes and Michael Schwimer combined for six scoreless innings, giving up just two hits (Worley (1), Schwimer (1)) and two walks (Worley), while striking out eight (Worley, Madson, Stutes, Schwimer two each) batters between them. Justin De Fratus (1-0, 2.25) received his first major league win as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out one. David Herndon received his first career save as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk, while striking out one. Tim Hudson also received a no-decision as he went six and one-third innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out four. Eric O’Flaherty collected his thirty-second hold of the season as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting out the two batters that he would face. Jonny Venters received his thirty-fifth hold of the year as he pitched a scoreless inning, walking two batters, while striking out one. Craig Kimbrel blew his eighth save attempt of the year as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on a hit and three walks, while striking out one. Kris Medlen pitched an inning and a third, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Anthony Varvaro and Cristhian Martinez combined for two scoreless innings, giving up a hit (Martinez), while striking out two (Varvaro) batters between them. Scott Linebrink (4-4, 3.64) took the lost as he gave up a run on two hits and a walk, while striking out a batter.

The Phils had eleven hits in the ballgame, with Chase Utley (Singles, RBI), Hunter Pence (Singles, RBI), Ryan Howard (Single, Double, RBI) and Placido Polanco (Singles), all leading the team with two hits each. John Mayberry, Jr. (Single), Raul Ibanez (Double) and Wilson Valdez (Single), had the other three Phils’ hits. Carlos Ruiz had the other Phil’s RBI on a Braves’ fielding error.

The Phils will have the next two off, before they start their divisional series with the Cardinals.

33 games in 31 days: Game #7: The Phils lose to the Marlins in a walk-off bases loaded walk in fourteen innings, 5-4.

The Phils lose the ballgame in fourteen innings on a walk-off bases loaded walk to the Marlins, 5-4.

The Marlins took the lead in the first as, with a man on third, and with nobody out, Omar Infante hits an RBI single, scoring Emilio Bonifacio, who had started the inning off with a triple, giving the Marlins a 1-0 lead. The Phils tied the game up at one-all as, with two men on, and with one man out, Marlins’ third baseman Greg Dobbs committed a throwing error on a Roy Halladay sacrifice bunt, allowing Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second base on Wilson Valdez’s single, to score, while allowing Valdez, who had just singled, to reach third base, while Halladay would be safe at first. The Phils then took the lead two batters later as Michael Martinez hits an RBI single, scoring Valdez, while sending Halladay up to second base. The Marlins then tied the game up at two-all in the third as, with a runner on second base, and with two men on, Gaby Sanchez, who had earlier doubled, scored as Halladay committed a missed catch error on a grounder hit by Logan Morrison to Ryan Howard because he had broke off the mound late, and was thus unable to catch Howard’s throw to him. It looked like the Phils were starting to develop a rally in their half of the sixth as, with Howard on first, via a walk, and with nobody out, Hunter Pence hits a fly ball into deep right field that went off right fielder Bryan Petersen’s glove, and ended up being a double, placing Howard at third, as Pence stopped at second base. But Marlins’ skipper Jack McKeon asked for the play to be reviewed, claiming fan interference, which it was. Instead of telling him that the play could not be reviewed, since it had ended up being a double, and not a home run, as is stated by the rules on when instant reply could be used, the umpires, lead by Joe West, reviewed the play and called Pence out, claiming that Petersen may have been able to catch the ball if not for interference from the fan(s), while Howard was sent back to first base. Then Phils’ manager Charlie Manuel came out and tried to tell West that the umps should not have reviewed the play, as it was not used in the correct manner, but was not listened to by West, before being ejected. My take: the play, since it was not a home run, as it was called a double, should not have been reviewed, since it is only to be used to determine if a ball is a home run or not. Anyway, I’m afraid that this will open up a can of worm that MLB will only have itself to blame, as I’m sure that the Phils’ protest will be rejected, as the present day MLB is really reluctant to reprimand umps who make mistakes, and yes, this was a mistake. This would be immediately costly for the Phils as Raul Ibanez hits a double, which, instead of knocking in two runs, sent Howard back to third base. Ruiz is then walked to load up the bases, with one man out. The next batter, Valdez, then ended the threat by hitting into a 4-6-3 double play, wiping out Ruiz at second base. The Marlins then retook the lead in their half of the sixth as, with two men on, and with two men out, pinch hitter Jose Lopez hits an RBI single, knocking in Petersen, who had earlier singled, then stopped at second base on Jon Buck’s single, giving the Marlins a 3-2 lead, while sending Buck on to third base. The Phils then retook the lead in the seventh as, with two men on, and with two men out, Howard hits a two-run single, knocking in Shane Victorino, who had earlier walked, went to second on Martinez’s walk, before both runners moved up a base on Chase Utley’s ground out, 3-1, giving the Phils a 4-3 lead. The Marlins then tied up the game at four-all in their half of the seventh as, with runners on second and third, and with nobody out, Sanchez hits into a fielder’s choice ground out, 6-5, as Dobbs, who had earlier doubled, sending Infante, who had started the inning off with a walk, to third base, made a base running mistake by trying to go to third on the grounder, before he is tagged out by third baseman Martinez, for the inning’s first out, as Infante scored from third, while Sanchez was safe at first base. The game would stay tied until the bottom of the fourteenth, as the Phils develop no offense, while the Phils’ bullpen kept the Marlins off the scoreboard, especially David Herndon, who would get himself out of three straight bases loaded situations, after the game have gone into extra-innings. But, his luck would run out in the fourteenth inning, as the Marlins once again loaded the bases, via a walk to Bonifacio, who then moved up to second base on Infante’s sacrifice bunt, 1-4, for the inning’s first out, an intentional walk to Dobbs,  that was then followed by a lined out to left by Sanchez, for the inning’s second out, then an intentional walk to Morrison, moving up both runners, and with two men out, Mike Cameron walked, forcing in Bonifacio with the winning run, giving the Marlins a 5-4 walk-off win.

Roy Halladay received a no-decision as he went six innings, giving up three runs, two of which were earned, on nine hits and a walk, while striking out four. Michael Schwimer committed his second blown save of the year as he pitched an inning, giving up a run on one hit and three walks, while striking out two. Brad Lidge and Michael Stutes combined for three scoreless innings, giving up two hits (one hit each) and a walk (Stutes), while striking out five (Lidge (1), Stutes (4)) between them. David Herndon (1-3, 3.83) would take the lost as he went three and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on four hits and seven walks. Anibal Sanchez also received a no-decision as he pitched sixth innings, giving up two unearned runs on six hits and three walks, as he struck out five. Burke Badenhop recorded his fourth hold of the year as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up two runs on two walks, striking out a batter.  Michael Dunn blew his three save opportunity of the season as he pitched two-third of an inning, giving up a hit. Edward Mujica, Leo Nunez, Jose Ceda and Steve Cishek combined for five scoreless innings, giving up three hits (Mujica (1), Cishek (2)) and two walks (Ceda (1), Cishek (1)), while striking out two (Nunez (1), Cishek (1)) between them. Clay Hensley (3-6, 5.34) got the win as he pitched two 1-2-3 innings, striking out a batter.

The Phils had ten hits in the ballgame, with Michael Martinez (Single, Double, RBI), Ryan Howard (Singles, 2 RBIs) and Raul Ibanez (Single, Double) all leading the team with two hits each. Shane Victorino (Single), Carlos Ruiz (Single), Wilson Valdez and Placido Polanco had the other four Phils’ hits. The other Phil run came in on a throwing error.

The Phils (88-48, 1st) will start a three-game series with the Braves (82-57, 2nd) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Cliff Lee (15-7, 2.59), who is coming off a win against the Reds on August 31, as he went eight and two-thirds innings, giving up six hits and a walk, while striking out seven, in the Phils’ 3-0 win. Lee will be going for his sixteenth win of the year, while trying to start off the series with a win. The Braves will counter with Derek Lowe (9-12, 4.52), who is coming off a win against the Nats on August 31, as he went six innings, giving up a run on three hits and two walks, while striking out six, in the Braves’ 3-1 win. He will be out to add to the Phils’ present losing streak. The Phils will be out to see if they can put the NL East away for good with a series win against the Braves.

After a wild eighth inning, the Phils hold on to defeat the Mets, 8-5.

After getting through a very wild eighth inning, the Phils hold on to leave New York with a series win, as they defeat the Mets, 8-5.

The Phils took the lead in the first as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI single, scoring Chase Utley, who had earlier walked, then stole second base, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Phils then took a 4-0 lead in the fifth as, with two men on, via singles by Kyle Kendrick and Jimmy Rollins, with Kendrick stopping at second base, and with one man out, Michael Martinez hits a three-run home run, his first home run of the season, and of his career, knocking in both Kendrick and Rollins. The Phils then added to their lead in the seventh as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Martinez hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Brian Schneider, who had earlier singled, moved up to second base on Kendrick’s sacrifice bunt, 2-4, and then stopped at third on Rollins’ single, giving the Phils a 5-0 lead. The Mets finally got on the scoreboard in their half of the seventh as, with a runner on second, and with one man out, pinch hitter Scott Hairston hits an RBI single, knocking in Ronny Paulino, who had earlier doubled, making it a 5-1 Phils’ lead. The Phils then took advantage of a defensive mistake by the Mets in the top of the eighth as left fielder Jason Bay committed a fielding error on Howard’s fly ball as it hit his glove, allowing Howard to reach first base safely. After Raul Ibanez popped out to the first baseman in foul territory for the inning’s first out, Dom Brown walked, sending Howard to second base. Then, after John Mayberry, Jr., popped out to the first baseman in foul territory for the second out of the inning, Schneider walked, loading up the bases, moving up a base both Howard and Brown, with two men out, while bringing up to the plate pinch hitter Ross Gload. Gload proceeded to walk, forcing in Howard to make it a 6-1 Phils’ lead, while sending Brown on to third base and Schnieder up to second base, as the bases remained loaded. The next batter, Rollins, then hits a two-run single, scoring both Brown and Schneider, giving the Phils an 8-1 lead, while sending Gload all the way to third. Martinez then ended the inning by striking out, swinging. The Mets then started to make things close in their half of the eighth as Phils’ reliever Juan Perez would load up the bases by walking Willie Harris, Daniel Murphy and Bay, with nobody out. Charlie Manuel then came out, and replaced Perez with Ryan Madson. Madson then proceeded to get Lucas Duda to hit into a 4-6-3 doubleplay, wiping out Bay at second base, as Harris scored, making it an 8-2 Phils’ lead, while Murphy would reach third base. Paulino then followed with an RBI single, knocking in Murphy, making it an 8-3 Phils’ lead. After Madson hits Ruben Tejada with a pitch, sending Paulino up to second base, he reloaded the bases as he walked pinch hitter Nick Evans, moving up a base both Paulino and Tejada. The Mets then made it an 8-4 Phils’ lead as Angel Pagan hits an RBI single, scoring Paulino, while sending Tejada to third, and Evans to second, leaving the bases loaded. Manuel then came out, and called in Antonio Bastardo to attempt a four-out save. Bastardo finally ended the inning by striking out Justin Turner, swinging, as the Mets batted around in the inning. In the ninth, the Mets cut the Phils’ lead down to 8-5 as, with one man on, and with two men out, Luca hits an RBI triple, scoring Murphy, who had earlier doubled. But that would be the final score as Bastardo recorded his sixth save of the year by getting Paulino to ground out, 5-3, for the game’s final out.

Kyle Kendrick (5-4, 3.34), got the win as he pitched seven strong innings, pitching his way out of a couple of early jams, as he gave up just one run on six hits and three walks. Juan Perez pitched to three batters, giving up two runs, as he walked all three of the men that he would face. Ryan Madson pitched two-thirds of an inning, as he gives up a run on two hits, a walk and a hit batter. Antonio Bastardo collected his sixth save of the year as he went an inning and a third, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out a batter. Mike Pelfrey (5-9, 4.67) took the lost as he went five innings, giving up four runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out two. D.J. Carrasco pitched an inning and a third, giving up a run on three hits. Tim Byrdak pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men that he would face. Pedro Beato pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up three unearned runs, as he walked three batters. Ryota Igarashi pitched a third of an inning, giving up a hit, while he struck out one. Jason Isringhausen pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out two.

The Phils had eleven hits in the ballgame, with Jimmy Rollins leading the team with three hits, all singles, knocking in two runs, as he raised his batting average to .271. Raul Ibanez (Singles), Brian Schneider (Singles) and Kyle Kendrick (Singles), all followed with two hits each. Michael Martinez (Home Run, 4 RBIs) and Ryan Howard (Single, RBI), had the other two Phils’ hits. Ross Gload had the other Phil RBI with a bases loaded walk.

The Phils (59-35, 1st East) will start a three-game series with the Cubs (38-58, 4th Central) with a game tonight. The game will be played at Wrigley Field and will start at 8:05 pm EST (7:05 pm CST). The Phils will send to the mound their ace Roy Halladay (11-3, 2.45), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on July 8, as he went seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits, while striking out seven, in the Phils’ 3-2 win. He will be going for win no. 12 on the season. The Cubs will counter with Rodrigo Lopez (1-2, 4.02), who is coming off a no-decision against the Pirates on July 8, as he pitched six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out three, in the Cubs’ 7-4 lost. He will be trying to beat his old team. The Phils will be trying to start off the series with another opening series victory.