The Phils explode for nine runs in the eighth inning as the Cards’ bullpen implode as they come from behind to defeat the Redbirds, 10-2.
The game started as a pitchers’ duel between Cardinals’ starter Kyle McClellan, who pitched five innings keeping the Phils off-balanced, as he gave up two singles and three walks, while striking out two, and Roy Halladay, who for four innings kept the Cards off the scoreboard as he gave up a hit and two walks, while striking out four. The Cards took the lead in the fifth as, with the bases loaded, via singles to Yadier Molina, Daniel Descalsco, with Molina stopping at second base, and Skip Schumaker, with the runners stopping at third and second base, and with one man out, Ryan Theriot hits into an RBI force out, 5-4, forcing out Schumaker at second base, as Molina scored, as Placido Polanco was slow getting the ball out of his glove, giving the Cards a 1-0 lead, while Descalsco would move up to second base, as Theriot would beat the throw to first. The Phils would tie the game up at one-all in the seventh as, with two men on, and with two men out, pinch hitter Ross Gload hits an RBI single, knocking in Raul Ibanez, who had earlier walked, then went to second base on Carlos Ruiz’s single, crossing the plate before Ruiz, who had earlier singled, was tagged out between second and third by third baseman Descalsco, who had just cut off Matt Holliday’s throw to the plate, for the inning’s final out. The Cards retook the lead in their half of the seventh as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Schumaker hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Descalsco, who had earlier walked, then went to third on pinch hitter Mark Hamilton’s single. The Phils would then break the game open in the eighth, helped by the implosion of the Cards’ bullpen. After Jimmy Rollins started the inning off by lining out to left, Shane Victorino got on base with a single to right. Chase Utley followed by taking a walk, moving Victorino up to second base. Cardinals’ manager Tony LaRussa then came to the mound and relieved Trever Miller with Jason Motte to face Ryan Howard. On an 0-1 pitch, Motte hit Howard, loading up the bases as both runners moved up a base. Then with Polanco batting, Motte hit him on a 3-2 count, forcing in Victorino, tying the score up at two-all, while moving up both Utley and Howard, as the bases remained loaded. After Wilson Valdez comes in to pinch run for Polanco, as he is taken out of the ballgame to see if he was okay, as the ball had hit him on his left elbow, LaRussa replaces Motte with Brian Tallet, who proceeded to strikeout Ibanez swinging for the inning’s second out, leaving the bases loaded. The next batter was to be Dom Brown, but Phils’ manager Charlie Manuel sent out pinch hitter Ben Francisco to face Tallet. Francisco then gave the Phils a 3-2 lead with an RBI single, knocking in Utley, while moving up both Howard and Valdez, leaving the bases still loaded. LaRussa then replaced Tallet with Miguel Batista, who proceeded to walk Ruiz on five pitches, forcing in Howard as the Phils took a 4-2 lead, while both Valdez and Francisco moved up a base, the bases remaining loaded. Michael Martinez is then sent up to pinch hit for Michael Stutes, and proceeded to take a walk, forcing in a run, as Valdez scores, giving the Phils a 5-2 lead, while sending Francisco up to third base, and Ruiz over to second, as the Phils batted around. Rollins, batting for the second time in the inning, followed with a two-run single, scoring both Francisco and Ruiz, giving the Phils a 7-2 lead, while sending Martinez to second base. LaRussa then replaced Bastista with Maikal Cieto, hoping to final end this disastrous inning for the Redbirds. Cieto proceed to walk Victorino, the eleventh batter of the inning, reloading the bases as both Martinez and Rollins moved up a base. Utley, the twelfth Phils to bat in the inning, followed with a two-run single, knocking in both Matinez and Rollins, making it a 9-2 Phils’ lead, while sending Victorino to second base. Howard, the inning’s thirteenth batter, then made it a 10-2 Phils’ lead with an RBI single, knocking in Victorino, while sending Utley on to third. Cieto then finally ended the inning by getting Valdez, who was batting for the first time in the game, to fly out to right. That would end up being the final score as Antonio Bastardo and David Herndon threw a pair of scoreless innings against the Cards.
Roy Halladay received a no-decision as he pitched six innings, giving up a run on four hits and two walks, while striking out five. Michael Stutes (2-0, 2.38) got the win as he pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit and a walk, while striking out one. Antonio Bastardo and David Herndon combined for two scoreless innings, giving up a walk (Bastardo), while striking out three (Bastardo (1), Herndon (2)) between them. Kyle McClellan also received a no-decision as he went seven innings, giving up a run on five hits and four walks, while he struck out two. Trever Miller (0-1, 3.86) took the lost, after receiving his four hold of the season, as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up two runs on a hit and a walk. Jason Motte blew his second save of the year as he pitched to two batters, hitting both of them. Brian Tallet pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on a hit, as he struck out one. Miguel Batista pitched to three batters, as he gave up three runs on a hit and two walks, getting none of the three batters he faced out. Maikal Cieto pitched an inning and a third, giving up a run on three hits and two walks, while striking out one. The Cardinals’ bullpen blew up in the eighth inning, allowing fourteen men to come to the plate, giving up nine runs on six hits, three walks, and two hit batters.
The Phils had eleven hits in the game, with Carlos Ruiz leading the team with four hits, all singles, knocking in a run, as he lifted his average to .256. Chase Utley followed with two hits, bith singles, as he knocked in two runs, Jimmy Rollins (Single, 2 RBIs), Shane Victorino (Single), Ryan Howard (Single, RBI), pinch hitter Ross Gload (Single, RBI) and pinch hitter Ben Francisco (Single, RBI), had the other five Phils’ hits. Placido Polanco (Hit by the Pitch) and Michael Martinez (Walk), had the other two Phils’ RBI, as the offense took advantage of the Cards’ bullpen’s meltdown in the eighth.
The Phils (46-28, 1st East) continue their series with the Cards (40-34, 2nd Central) with a night game tonight at Busch Stadium (III). The game will start at 8:15 pm EDT (7:15 pm CDT). The Phils will send to the mound Cliff Lee (7-5, 3.12), who is coming off a complete game win against the Marlins on June 16, as he gave up just two hits and two walks, while striking out four, in the Phils’ 3-0 win. He will be going for his fourth straight win, while trying to give the Phils their first series win in their last four tries on the road. The Cards will counter with Kyle Lohse (7-3, 2.88), who is coming off a no-decision against the Nationals on June 16, as he pitched six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and a walk, as he struck out three, in the Cards’ 7-4 lost. He will be trying to even up the series for the Redbirds. The Phils will be trying to give Lee some runs support to give him his eighth win of the season.
The Phils hold off a late inning rally by the Cubs to make their ace Roy Halladay the NL’s first nine game winner as they defeat the Cubs, 7-5.
The Phils took the lead in the first as, with runners on second and third, and with one man out, Ryan Howard hits into an RBI ground out, 3-unassisted, scoring Shane Victorino, who had earlier singled, then went all the way to third on Chase Utley’s grounder, as Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier walked, then went to third on Victorino’s single, was caught between third and home on the grounder, before being tagged out at home plate, 1-5-2, for the inning’s first out, but allowing Victorino to reach third, and Utley to reach second base on the play. The Phils then took a 3-0 lead in the second as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Dom Brown hits a two-run home run, his second home run of the season, knocking in Raul Ibanez, who had just walked. The Phils then took what was thought to be a commanding lead in the seventh as, with the bases loaded, via a walk to Rollins, who then moved up to second on Victorino’s sacrifice bunt, 5-4, then walks to both Utley and Howard, and with one man out, Placido Polanco hits a grand-slam home run, his fourth home run of the season, and his 100th career home run, scoring Rollins, Utley and Howard, making it a 7-0 Phils’ lead. The Cubs then came back in the eighth. After Kosuke Fukudome walked, he would be forced out at second base on a Darwin Barney grounder, 5-4, as Utley would be unable to complete the double play, for the inning’s first out. The next batter, Starlin Castro, would then follow with a double, with Barney stopping at third, putting runners on second and third. Carlos Pena then walks to load up the bases. Aramis Ramirez then follows with a two-run single, scoring both Barney and Castro, cutting the Phils’ lead to 7-2, while sending Pena over to third, putting runners on the corners, with still one man out. Charlie Manuel then came out and relieved Jose Contreras, replacing him with J.C. Romero. Romero then proceeded to walk Blake DeWitt, reloading the bases. The next batter, Geovany Soto, followed with an RBI single, scoring Pena, making it a 7-3 Phils’ lead, while Ramirez would stop at third base, and DeWitt at second, leaving the bases loaded. The next batter, pinch hitter Lou Martinez, made it a 7-5 Phils’ lead with a two-run single, knocking in both Ramirez and DeWitt, while sending Soto up to second base. Manuel decided that was enough as he came back out and took the ball from Romero, replacing him with Michael Stutes. Stutes then proceeded to shut down the Cubs, as he first struck out pinch hitter Brad Snyder on a called third strike, before getting Fukudome, the tenth batter of the inning, to fly out to left on the first pitch. The Cubs then tried to erupt again in the ninth as their lead-off hitter, Barney, got on base with a walk, but the following batter, Castro, struck out swinging, for the inning’s first out, while Carlos Ruiz dropped the ball, although, with a runner on first, it’s still a strikeout, and the batter can’t go to first. But, Barney tried to move up to second, and is gunned down at second by Ruiz, who picked up the ball and threw to second, where the ball is caught by Utley, who applied the tag, for a strikeout-double play, for the inning’s second out. Antonio Bastardo then comes in to replace Stutes, before he recorded his second save of the season by striking out Pena, swinging, for the final out.
Roy Halladay (9-3, 2.39) got the win as he pitched seven shut out innings, giving up six hits, while striking out nine. Jose Contreras pitched a third of an inning, giving up four runs on two hits and two walks. J.C. Romero pitched to three batters, giving up a run on two hits and a walk. Michael Stutes received his third hold of the year as he pitched an inning and a third, giving up a walk, while striking out two. Antonio Bastardo collected his second save of the season, as he went a third of an inning, striking out the only batter he would face. Carlos Zambrano (5-3, 4.40) took the lost as he went six and a third innings, giving up seven runs on seven hits and seven walks, while he struck out five. James Russell and Jeff Samardzija combine for one and two-thirds scoreless inning, giving up a hit (Russell), while striking out four (two batters each) between them.
The Phis had eight hits between them, with Shane Victorino (Singles) and Raul Ibanez (Single, Double), both leading the team with two hits apiece. Chase Utley (Single), Placido Polanco (Home Run, 4 RBIs), Dom Brown (Home Run, 2 RBIs) and Carlos Ruiz (Single), had the other four Phils’ hits. Ryan Howard knocked in the other Phil run with a ground out.
The Phils (38-26, 1st East) will continue their series with the Cubs (25-37, 5th Central) with an afternoon game at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 4:10 pm EDT and will be televised nationally on Fox Sports. The Phils will send to the mound Cliff Lee (5-5, 3.62) who is coming off a win against the Dodgers on June 6, as he went seven strong innings, giving up just seven hits and a walk, while striking out seven, in the Phils’ 3-1 win. He will be going for his sixth win of the season. The Cubs plan to counter with Matt Garza (2-5, 4.07), who is coming off a lost against the Reds on June 6, as he went only four innings, giving up four runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out three, in the Cubs’ 8-2 lost. He will be trying to give the Cubs the lead in the four game series. The Phils will be out to give Lee some offensive support this afternoon.
The Phils have recently announced that they have just released Luis Castillo, deciding not to keep the former Met. The Phils obviously did not see enough from Castillo to keep him as their regular second baseman while Chase Utley continue to recover from his injury. Which means that Wilson Valdez will be, for the time being, the Phils’ regular second baseman.
The Phils manager, Charlie Manuel, has also announced that he plan to keep Michael Martinez, whom the Phils have gotten from the Washington Nationals via last year’s Rule 5 draft. The rookie infielder will be with the team for the upcoming season.
Martinez’s staying was no surprised, since he did rather well during spring training. As for Castillo, the Phils obviously did not see anything from him to pick up his contract.
Looks like the roster for 2011 is almost fixed.
Earlier today, the Phils have announced that they have extended General Manager Ruben Amaro, Jr.’s contract. Amaro has signed a four-year extension with the Phils a day after the team had signed manager Charlie Manuel to a two-year extension of his contract. This means that Amaro will be the Phils’ General Manager through 2015, helping to keep things stable at the top for the next few years.
Here’s to hoping that he’ll be making some more deals that’ll help the team during that time. Time to really start earning, Ruben.
The Phils have extended Charlie Manuel’s contract with the Phils for two more seasons as the Phils manager, for $7.5 million dollars, so he’ll still be the Phils’ manager until the end of 2013.
Congrats on the new contract, Charlie. Hopefully it’ll lead to a few more playoff appearances.
This past Saturday, during the Phils’ 4-3 lost to the Pirates, Dom Brown, during an at-bat against pitcher Paul Maholm, fractured the hook of the hamate bone on his right hand as he fouled off a pitch, before getting his only hit of spring training, a single. Brown has returned to Philadelphia to visit hand specialist Randall Culp, to see how bad it is, although the Phils expect that Brown will need surgery on his right hand, and will therefore be out for four to six weeks. This will mean that Dom Brown will more than likely start the year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, before being called back to the main club, while Ben Francisco, who has been hitting the cover off of the ball so far this spring (before going 0 for 3 in today’s game with the Yankees), will be the one who will be the starter in right field, although no one have yet to say that he is.
This could end up being a blessing in disguise, as it should allow Brown to get away from all of the hype around him as he is considered the team’s number one prospect, as well as being the number one candidate for the job in right field, although he have not had a good spring as he had gone 0 for 15 before getting the single.
Meanwhile, in spite of taking a week off to allow his right knee to heal after it was announced that he was suffering from patellar tendenitis, Chase Utley was given a cortisone shot to help it heal. This is not good news, as the leg was expected to heal on its own, after being given some rest, although Utley have taken batting practice as he waited for his knee to get better. Hopefully his knee will be okay by the time that the team head north near the end of the month and it will make Utley sit out a few games during the regular season when told to by Charlie Manuel.
…the day has arrived when pitchers and catchers are suppose to arrive. And for the Phils, it means that one of the best starting rotations in the major leagues will have arrived in Clearwater, along with what should be one of the most rested bullpens during the regular season because their first four starters (Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, Hamels) should, on most days, be able to reach at least the seventh inning before Uncle Charlie would need to call on the relief corps. Of course, that will depend on the Phil’s offense, since several players (Utley, Rollins, Howard, etc.) are expected to have comeback years after the down year that the team’s offense had last season, while the Phils will be trying to break in rookie Dom Brown, as they plan to use him in a platoon situation with Ben Francisco in right field.
A lot of my fellow Phillies fans are already predicting the Phils to have a large number of wins this season because of our Fantastic Foursome on the mound. Me, I’ll be happy if they break the team’s record of 101 wins, while spanking the Giants during the two times that the two clubs will meet this year.