As the Braves get crushed by the Mets, the Phils missed a chance to clinch their fifth straight Eastern Division title as they fall in extra-innings to the Cardinals, 4-2.
The Cardinals took the lead in the second as, with the bases loaded, via a walk to David Freese, a single by Yadier Molina, sending Freese up to second base, and a walk to Skip Schumaker, moving both runners up a base, and with two men out, Rafael Furcal forced in a run with a walk, scoring Freese, giving the Cards a 1-0 lead, while moving up a base both Molina and Schumaker. The Phils tied the game up at one-all in their half of the second as, with one man on, and with one man out, John Mayberry, Jr. hits an RBI double, knocking in Placido Polanco, who had just doubled. The Cardinals retook the lead in the eighth as, with two men out, Molina hits a solo home run, his thirteenth home run of the season, giving the Cards a 2-1 lead. The Phils would retie the game up at two-all in the ninth as, with two men on, and with two men out, pinch runner Michael Martinez, who was running for pinch hitter Ryan Howard, who had earlier doubled, would score on a Corey Patterson fielding error of a fly ball hit by Carlos Ruiz, allowing Ruiz to reach second base on the miscue. The Cards then regain the lead in the eleventh as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Adron Chambers hits an RBI single, scoring Furcal, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on Patterson’s sacrifice bunt, giving the Cards a 3-2 lead, while sending Albert Pujols, who had just been intentionally walked, up to second base. The Cards then added to their lead as Tyler Greene hits an RBI double, knocking in Pujols, giving the Cards a 4-2 lead, before Chambers, who was following Pujols, was tagged out at the plate on a strong throw by Martinez, via Jimmy Rollins, for a 7-6-2 second out. But that would end up being the final score as the Phils go down in their half of the eleventh.
Vance Worley received a no-decision as he went only six innings, giving up a run on six hits and three walks, while striking out five. David Herndon pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and two walks, while striking out one. Antonio Bastardo pitched an inning, giving up a run on one hit, while striking out one. Brad Lidge pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits. Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Michael Schwimer (1-1, 4.82) took the lost, giving up two runs on three hits and two walks. Jaime Garcia also received a no-decision as he went seven innings, giving up a run on five hits and two walks, while striking out four. Marc Rzepczynski collected his seventeenth hold of the season as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a walk, while striking out a batter. Octavio Dotel received his ninth hold of the year as he pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only batter that he would face. Jason Motte blew his fourth save attempt of the year as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on a hit, striking out a batter. Arthur Rhodes pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only batter that he would face. Kyle McClellan (12-8, 4.01) got the win as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Fernando Salas collected his twenty-fourth save of the year as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter.
The Phils had seven hits in the ballgame, with Placido Polanco (Single, Double) and John Mayberry, Jr. (Single, Double, RBI) both leading the team with two hits each. Ben Francisco (Single), Brian Schneider (Single) and pinch hitter Ryan Howard (Double), had the other three Phils’ hits, as the offense continue to sputter, in spite of continuing to win.
The Phils (97-52, 1st East) will continue their series with the Cardinals (82-68, 2nd Central) 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 Roy Oswalt (7-9, 3.88), who is coming off a lost against the Astros on September 12, as he went seven innings, giving up five runs on eleven hits and two walks, while striking out just two, in the Phils’ 5-1 lost. Oswalt will be trying to regain his old form while trying to pitch the Phils over the finish line, if the Braves don’t fall to the Mets this afternoon. The Cardinals will counter with Jake Westbrook (12-8, 4.61), who is coming off a win against the Braves on September 11, as he went five and a third innings, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out four, in the Cards’ 6-3 win. He will be trying to keep the Phils from winning the East for one more day, while keeping his team in the race for the Wild Card. The Phils will be out prove to that they have won the East by going for the win tonight.
Roy Halladay pitches a complete game in his return to Toronto, getting his eleventh win of the year as the Phils come from behind again to defeat the Blue Jays, 5-3.
The Phils took the lead in the first as, with two men on, and with one man out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI single, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier walked, then stole second, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while sending Placido Polanco, who had also earlier walked, up to second base. The Blue Jays would tie the game up at one-all in the fourth as Jose Bautista hits a lead-off home run, his twenty-sixth home run of the year. The Phils retook the lead in the fifth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Rollins hits an RBI ground-rule double, scoring Ross Gload, who had earlier singled, then stopped at third on Carlos Ruiz’s single, giving the Phils a 2-1 lead, while Ruiz, who had just singled, would stop at third. The Blue Jays would tied the game again, this time at two-all, in their half of the fifth as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, John McDonald hits an RBI single, knocking in Corey Patterson, who had earlier singled, then went to third on Chase Utley’s throwing error as the ball hit one of Patterson’s legs. The Blue Jays then took the lead two batters later as, with a man on second, and with two men out, as McDonald had reached second base on Aaron Hill’s ground out, 5-3, Eric Thames hits an RBI single, scoring McDonald, giving the Blue Jays a 3-2 lead. The Phils regain the lead in the seventh as, with a man on third, and with two men out, Utley redeemed himself by hitting a two-run home run, his fourth home run of the season, knocking in Ruiz, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on Rollins’ fly out to center, giving the Phils a 4-3 lead. The Phils added an insurance run in the ninth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Shane Victorino hits an RBI single, knocking in Utley, who was earlier safe at first on a force out, 1-6, forcing out Rollins, who had earlier singled, at second base, while he beat out the throw to first, then went to second on Howard’s walk, giving the Phils a 5-3 lead, while moving Howard, who had just walked, up to second base. That would be the final score, as Halladay would end the game by getting Patterson to hit into a 6-3 doubleplay, as Edwin Encarnacion, who had started the inning off with a single, is wiped out at second base.
Roy Halladay (11-3, 2.44) got the win as he pitched a complete game, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out eight. Carlos Villanueva received a no-decision as he went six and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks, while he struck out three. Luis Perez received his first blown save of the year, before taking the loss (1-1, 3.71), as he pitched an inning, giving up a run on three hits, while he struck out one. Octavio Dotel pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Jon Rauch pitched two-thirds of an inning, as he gave up a run on two hits and a walk, before being thrown out of the game because he was still mad over the home plate umpire not calling Ryan Howard out earlier in the ninth inning. Shawn Camp pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man whom he would face.
The Phils had ten hits in the ballgame, with Jimmy Rollins (Single, Double, RBI), Shane Victorino (Singles, RBI) and Carlos Ruiz (Single, Double), all leading the team with two hits each. Chase Utley (Home Run, 2 RBIs), Ryan Howard (Single, RBI), Dom Brown (Single) and Ross Gload (Single), had the other four Phils’ hits.
The Phils (53-31, 1st NL East) will conclude their interleague series with the Blue Jays (40-44, 3rd AL East) tomorrow with an afternoon at the Rogers Centre. The game will start at 1:07 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Cliff Lee (9-5, 2.66), who is coming off a complete game shutout win against the Red Sox on June 28, as he gave up two hits and two walks, while striking out five. He will be going for his fourth straight complete game shutout, while trying to give the Phils a sweep of the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays will try to counter with Jo-Jo Reyes (3-7, 4.77), who is coming off a lost against the Pirates on June 28, as he went three and two-thirds innings, giving up six runs on nine hits and a walk, while he struck out five, in the Blue Jays’ 7-6 lost. He will be trying to keep the Blue Jays from being swept. The Phils will be going for the sweep, while hoping to end interleague play winning seven of their last nine games against American League teams.
The Phils stop a ninth inning rally to hang on and defeat the Blue Jays, 5-4.
The Phils jump to a quick 3-0 lead in the first as, with two men on, and with two men out, Raul Ibanez hits a three-run home run, his first home run of the spring, scoring Ben Francisco, who had earlier singled, then went to third on Ryan Howard’s single, and Howard, who had just singled. The Blue Jays got a run back in their half of the first as, with a runner on third, and with nobody out, Yunel Escobar hits an RBI ground out, 4-3, knocking in Rajai Davis, who had earlier tripled, cutting the Phils’ lead to 3-1. The Phils got the run back in the second as, with a man on, and with one man out, Michael Martinez hits an RBI single, knocking in Josh Barfield, who had earlier singled, then stole second base, giving the Phils a 4-1 lead, before stopping at second base on Travis Snider’s throwing error. The Blue Jays made it a 4-2 Phils’ lead in the third as Juan Rivera hits a lead-off home run, his first home run of the spring. The Phils then increased their lead in the fifth as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Wilson Valdez hits an RBI single, knocking in Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second base on Martinez’s sacrifice bunt, 1-3, making it a 5-2 Phils’ lead. That would be the score until the bottom of the ninth, when the Blue Jays tried to rally to tie up the game. With runners on the corners, via singles by Mike McCoy and Eric Thames, with McCoy stopping at third base, and with nobody out, Adam Loewen hits an RBI single, scoring McCoy, making it a 5-3 Phils’ lead, while sending Thames on to third base. Two batters later, with runners still on the corners, and now with one man out, Corey Patterson made it a 5-4 Phils’ lead with an RBI single, knocking in Thames, while sending Loewen on to second base. But that would be the final score as Danys Baez would record his first save of the spring as he got Jonathan Diaz to hit into a 4-6-3 double play, wiping out Patterson at second base.
Cliff Lee (2-2, 4.74) got the win as he pitched six strong innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks, while striking out two batters. Kyle Kendrick received his first hold of the spring as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk, while striking out a batter. J.C. Romero recorded his second hold of the spring as he also pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits. Danys Baez recorded his first spring save as he pitched an inning, giving up two run on four hits, while striking out a batter. Ricky Romero (1-2, 7.71) took the lost as he pitched four innings, giving up four runs on six hits, while striking out four. Chad Codero, Casey Janssen, Marc Rzepczynski, Carlos Villanueva and Sean Henn then pitched five scoreless innings, giving up four hits (Codero (2), Janssen (1), Rzepczynski (1)), while striking out four Phils (Janssen (1), Rzepczynski (2), Villanueva (1)).
The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Ben Francisco leading the team with three hits, all singles, followed by Raul Ibanez, who had two hits, a single and a three-run home run. Wilson Valdez (Single, RBI), Ryan Howard (Single), Josh Barfield (Single), Carlos Ruiz (Single) and Michael Martinez (Single, RBI), had the other five Phils’ hits.
The Phils have raised their Grapefruit League record to 17-9 with the win.
Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels three hit the Reds while going the distance as the Phillies defeat the Reds, 5-0. Junior is finally in the Reds’ starting line-up, going one for four with a double as he is unable to hit home run number 600 in Philadelphia. The closest he would get would be with a deep fly ball to center field that would be caught right in front of the wall by Shane Victorino. Also, Jimmy Rollins would be taken out of the ballgame, because he didn’t hustle as he was disgusted with himself after hitting a pop up high into the air in the third inning, with a runner on second and two out, that was misplayed by Reds’ shortstop Paul Janish into an error, which would lead to the Phillies’ first unearned run of the game, as it gave the Phils a sudden 1-0 lead. Since Rollins did not end up on second because of his lack of hustling, Charlie Manuel would bench him for the rest of the game and replace him with Eric Bruntlett. More on that later. The runner on second at the time, Carlos Ruiz, who has gotten on base earlier with a single, and moved to second on Hamels’ sacrifice bunt, would score on the play. The Phils would increase their lead in the fifth, when Ken Griffey, Jr. would misplay Bruntlett’s fly ball, allowing it to drop in for an error, scoring Pedro Feliz, who has earlier reached base on an infield single and has went to second on a throwing error by Reds’ starter Homer Bailey, to make the score 2-0 Phils. Victorino would then hit an RBI single, scoring Ruiz, who has earlier walked, giving the Philliess a 3-0 lead. In the sixth inning, the score would become 4-0 Phillies when Geoff Jenkins would hit his sixth home run of the year. The Phils’ final run would come in the seventh, when Ryan Howard would hit a RBI single of off Jeremy Affeldt, who was pitching in relief of Bailey, scoring Bruntlett, who has earlier walked. Hamels would end the game by getting Corey Patterson to pop out to Howard in foul territory with a runner on first.
Cole Hamels gets the win, as he pitches both his second complete game and his second shut out of the year, as he gives up no runs on three hits. With this good performance, his record is now 6-4 with a 3.36 ERA. Homer Bailey would take the lost for the Reds, as he would last six and one third innings, giving up five runs, only two of which were earned, thanks to three Reds’ errors, on only four hits. His record is now 0-1 with a 2.84 ERA. Jeremy Affeldt would pitch a third of an inning in relief, giving up no runs on only one hit, Ryan Howard’s RBI single. Mike Lincoln would pitch one and a third innings, giving up no runs on no hits.
On Jimmy Rollins’ benching, I agree with Charlie doing it 100%. As Jimmy would himself acknowledge during a post-game interview, he should’ve been running hard towards first after hitting the ball into the air, because if he had been running hard, he would’ve been on second after seeing the Red’s shortstop botch the play. Jimmy acknowledged in the interview that he had screwed up and had accepted the benching like a professional. Okay, the deed has been done, the punishment has been assessed and accepted, and that should be the end of it.
Junior would finally get into the Reds’ starting line-up this afternoon, and as mentioned earlier, he would only go one for four, getting only a double and just miss hitting a home run in the top of the ninth. Within the four games series, he would go one for four with two walks. But, I will not be talking about that. I’m going to be talking about the error that he made during the game. As I listened to the game this afterrnoon, I’d heard the Phillies’ announcers say that Junior had moved back on the ball when he got close to it before it would drop in for an error. I would not be surprised if that have happened because his knees are still sore from last Sunday’s game. If that is the reason, then the Reds should have kept him out of the line-up for one more game, for both his and their own good, because, while having him hit home run number 600 might be important, I, personally would’ve preferred that it happen when he is 95-100 percent, and it would not hurt his team defensively. But, hey, I’m a fan, and a Phillies’ fan at that, what the heck do I know.
The Phillies’ offense recently have not been getting the hits lately. This might not be the best time for it to happen as they head on the road to visit Atlanta, Miami and St. Louis, for nine games. Hopefully, the bats will return when they enter Atlanta for a three games series that will start tomorrow night at Turner Field at 7:30 PM Eastern. The Phillies’ (36-26) starter will be Jamie Moyer (6-3, 4.65), who is coming off of his fourth straight victory, as he was the winning pitcher in the Phils’ 7-5 defeat of the Marlins on June 1. Moyer would go seven innings, giving up all five earned runs on seven hits. He will be trying for his fifth straight win, while hoping to continue the Phillies’ starters recent string of quality starts while also hoping that the offense will continue to support him with runs. The Braves (32-29) will counter with Tim Hudson (7-4, 3.01), who left his last start with a hamstring pull, which was a lost to the Reds on June 1. In that game, he would go six innings, giving up four runs, three of which were earned, on six hits, in the Braves’ 6-2 lost He hopes that he will be more successful in his third attempt for his eighth win of the season, while trying to see if he can keep the Phillies’ offense quiet.
With the win, the Phillies, with their 8-2 home stand, are now once again leading the second place Marlins by two and a half games as they lost the third of their four games with the third place Braves. The Braves’ victory keep them three and a half games behind the Phils. The fourth place Mets, with their lost to San Diego, fall back four and a half games behind the Phillies. The Phillies hope that they can continue their good fortune on the road while doing some damage to the Braves’ home record. when they play in Atlanta tomorrow.