Tagged: Cristian Guzman

Thanks to a Nats throwing error in the eighth, the Phils finish the sweep, 8-6.

A throwing error by Nats’ reliever Jesus Colome to first on a Pedro Feliz’s bunt leads to a three-runs Phils’ eighth, giving the Phils a series sweep of the Nationals in Washington, as the Phils defeat the hapless Nationals, 8-6.

The Phils took the lead in the first, as, with runners on the corners, and two men out, Jayson Werth hits an RBI single, knocking in Chase Utley, who had earlier singled, and had gone to third on Ryan Howard’s single, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while sending Howard, who had earlier singled, to third base. Shane Victorino made it a 3-0 Phils’ lead, as he hits a two-run double, scoring both Howard and Werth. The Nationals would come back in their half of the first, as, with two men on, and one man out, Adam Dunn hits an RBI double, scoring Cristian Guzman, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second base on Nick Johnson’s single, making it a 3-1 Phils’ lead, while sending Johnson over to third. A wild pitch by Phils’ starter Chan Ho Park would make it a 3-2 Phils’ lead, scoring Johnson, while sending Dunn up to third, with still one man out. Elijah Dukes then tied up the game at three-all as he hits an RBI double, knocking in Dunn. The Nationals took the lead in the second, as, with the bases loaded, via walks to Guzman, Johnson and Ryan Zimmerman, and one man out, Dunn received an RBI walk, forcing in Guzman, making it a 4-3 Nats’ lead, while both Johnson and Zimmerman moved up a base. That would be it for Park, as he is replaced on the mound by Jack Taschner. The Nats then took a 5-3 lead, as Willie Harris, who had come into the game in place of Dukes, who had left the game because of an injury, was hit by the pitch, scoring Johnson, while moving up both Zimmerman and Dunn. The Phillies would then get out of the inning as Josh Willingham lined into a 5-4 double play, as Dunn is thrown out while trying to get back to second base. The Phillies came back in the fourth, as, with a runner on second, and two men out, Jimmy Rollins hits an RBI single, scoring Pedro Feliz, who had earlier singled and had moved to second on Taschner’s sacrifice bunt, making it a 5-4 Nats’ lead. The Phils then tied it at five-all, as, with a runner on second, and still two men out, Utley hits an RBI double, scoring Rollins, who had earlier stole second base. The Nats regained the lead in the sixth, as, with runners on the corners, and nobody out, Zimmerman hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Guzman, who had earlier singled, and had gone over to third on Johnson’s single, making it a 6-5 Nats’ lead. The Phils took back the lead in the eighth as, with two men on, and nobody out, Pedro Feliz puts down a bunt towards third base that was fielded by Jesus Colome, who then threw to first. The throw got past Nats’ first baseman Johnson for an error, which allowed both Werth, who had earlier singled, and had gone to second on Victorino’s walk, and Victorino, who had just walked, to score, giving the Phils a 7-6 lead, while sending Feliz all the way to third on the error. Two batters later, with Feliz still on third, and one man out, pinch hitter Eric Bruntlett hits a pinch hit double, scoring Feliz, and giving the Phils an 8-6 lead. That would end up being the final score, as Brad Lidge came on in the ninth, with one man on base, Harris, via a walk from Scott Eyre, with one out, who got Willingham to hit into a 6-4-3 double play, wiping out Harris at second, for his seventh save of the season, and his second save of the series, giving the Phils a series sweep.

Chan Ho Park got a no-decision, lasting only one and a third innings, giving up five runs on five hits, four walks and a wild pitch, while striking out only two. Jack Taschner pitched two and two-thirds innings of scoreless ball, giving up a hit, two walks and hitting a batter, while striking out two. Chad Durbin pitched two innings, giving up a run on two hits and a hit batter, as he struck out two. Sergio Escalona got the win as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit, as he struck out one. His record is presently 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. Scott Eyre got his sixth hold of the season as he pitched an inning and a third, giving up just a walk, while striking out two. Brad Lidge got his seventh save of the year as he pitched to only one batter, getting him to hit into a double play. Jordon Zimmermann also got a no-decision as he pitched five innings, giving up five runs on seven hits, three walks and a hit batter, as he struck out six. Ron Villone pitched two scoreless innings. Julian Tavarez took the lost as he pitched to two batters, giving up two runs on one hit and a walk. His record is now 0-3 with an ERA of 6.32. Jesus Colome recorded his first blown save of the year as he pitched one third of an inning, giving up a run on one hit. Joe Beimel pitched a scoreless inning and a third, giving up just a hit.

The Phillies collected ten hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins, Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz leading the way with two hits each. Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino and Eric Bruntlett got the other four hits. Victorino knocked in two runs, while Rollins, Utley, Werth and Bruntlett each knocked in a run. The win gives the Phillies their third sweep of the season, with all three being done on the road. This was also the worst start for Park since joining the Phils, after having two straight quality starts, so his days in the starting rotation may be numbered.

The Phillies (20-16, 2nd) have the day off today before they start a three-games series with the Reds (21-16, 3rd National League Central) tomorrow night in Cincinnati. The Phils hope to continue there hot streak while in Cincinnati.

The Phillies sweep a rain-shortened day-night doubleheader, defeating the Nationals by the scores of 8-5 and 7-5.

The Phillies’ bats and a good start by Brett Myers in the afternoon half of a day-night double bill leads to the sweep of the Nationals in a day-night doubleheader before the rain arrived to stop play. The Phils won 8-5 in the afternoon make-up of an earlier rain out while they won 7-5 in the rain-shortened night cap.

In the first game, the Phils took a quick 1-0 lead in the first, as, with two men out, Raul Ibanez hits a solo home run, his eleventh home run of the year. In the bottom of the first, the Nats would tie the game up at one-all, as, with two men out, Ryan Zimmerman hits his own solo home run, his ninth home run of the year. The Phils retook the lead in the second as Jayson Werth hits a lead-off solo home run, his seventh home run of the year, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. The Phillies increased their lead in the third, as, with two men on, and one man out, Ibanez busted the game open as he hits a three-run home run, his second home run of the game and his twelfth home run of the season, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier singled, and had gone on to second on Shane Victorino’s single, and Victorino, who had just singled, giving the Phillies a 5-1 lead. In the fourth, the Nats got a run back, as, with two men out, Josh Willingham hits a solo home run, his sixth home run, making it a 5-2 Phillies’ lead. In the fifth, the Phils increased their lead to 6-2, when, with two men on, and nobody out, Werth hits an RBI single, scoring Ibanez, who had earlier reached first on Nats’ first baseman Nick Johnson’s fielding error, and had gone to second on Ryan Howard’s single, while sending Howard, who had earlier singled, to second. The Phillies would make it a 7-2 game in the eighth, as, with runners on the corners, and two men out, Rollins hits an RBI single, scoring Chris Coste, who had earlier doubled, while sending Matt Stairs, who had earlier walked, over to third. One batter later, Victorino would give the Phils an 8-2 lead as he hits an RBI single, scoring Stairs, while sending Rollins to second. The Nats would make it an 8-3 Phils’ lead, as, with two men on, and nobody out, Cristian Guzman hits an RBI double, knocking in Anderson Hernandez, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to third on Ronnie Belliard’s single, while sending Belliard, who had earlier singled, over to third. One batter later, the Nats cut the Phils’ lead down to 8-4 as Johnson hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Belliard. Zimmerman made it an 8-5 Phils lead by hitting an RBI single, knocking in Guzman. In the ninth, Brad Lidge came in and nailed down his sixth save of the year.

Brett Myers won the game, pitching his second straight quality start, as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up only two runs on three hits and two walks, while striking out eight. His record is now 3-2 with an ERA of 4.50. Ryan Madson pitched an inning, giving up three runs on four hits. Brad Lidge would record his sixth save of the season as he pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up only one hit, as he struck out a batter. Scott Olsen took the lost as he pitched five innings, giving up six runs, only five of which were earned, on nine hits and two walks, while he struck out only three. His record is now 1-4 with a 7.24 ERA. Garrett Mock pitched three innings in relief, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Jesus Colome pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit, as he struck out one.

The Phillies banged out fourteen hits in the game. Raul Ibanez and Jayson Werth led the way with three hits apiece, including three home runs (Ibanez (2), Werth (1)), with the two between them knocking in six RBIs (Ibanez (4) and Werth (2)). Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Chris Coste all followed with two hits each. Ryan Howard and Pedro Feliz had the Phils other two hits. Rollins and Victorino had the other two RBIs, as the bats came alive in the first game.

In the second game, the Phils sent to the mound rookie Andrew Carpenter, as J.A. Happ, the scheduled starter, was no longer available as he had pitched in relief Friday night. The Nats took the lead in the first, as, with a runner on second and nobody out, Johnson hits an RBI single, knocking in Guzman who had earlier doubled. The Phils tied the game up at one-all in the third, as, with a runner on third, and one man out, Chase Utley hits an RBI double, knocking in Rollins, who had earlier tripled. Two batters later, with Utley still on second, and now two men out, Howard would give the Phils the lead as he hits a two-run home run, his eighth home run of the year, knocking in Utley, giving the Phillies a 3-1 lead. The Nationals got a run back in the fourth, as, with a runner on second, and nobody out, Wil Nieves hits an RBI single, scoring Belliard, who had earlier doubled, cutting the Phils’ lead to 3-2. In the fifth, the Phils would break this game open, as, with two men on, and one out, Ibanez hits a three-run home run, his third home run of the day and his thirteenth home run of the season, knocking in Rollins, who had earlier singled and had gone on to third on Utley’s double, and Utley, who had just doubled, making it a 6-2 Phils’ lead. Five batters later, with the bases loaded, via a Howard double and walks to Stairs and Victorino, and with two men out, the Phils made it a 7-2 lead, as Feliz received an RBI walk, scoring Howard. The Nats tried to get back into the game in their half of the fifth. as the weather started to turn bad. With two men on, and one man out, Willie Harris hits a two-run single, scoring Zimmerman, who had earlier walked and had gone on to third on Willingham’s double, and Willingham, who had earlier doubled, making it a 7-4 Phillies’ lead. That would be it for Carpenter, as he would be replaced with Clay Condrey. Belliard would greet Condrey by hitting an RBI triple, scoring Harris, and making it a 7-5 Phils’ lead. But Condrey would end the inning by striking out both Nieves and pinch hitter Alex Cintron. The Phillies would load the bases in the top of the sixth via walks to Rollins and Utley and a single to Ibanez. With Howard batting, the rain started to come down, hard, and the umpires stopped the game. After waiting over an hour, the game would be call, with the Phils winning 7-5.

Andrew Carpernter received the win, his first major league win, as he pitched four and one-third innings, giving up five runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out four. His record is now 1-0 with a 10.38 ERA. Clay Condrey recorded his first save of the year, as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit, while striking out two. Daniel Cabrera took the lost, as he pitched five innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits and four walks, while striking out three. His record is now 0-5 with a 5.95 ERA. Ron Villone pitched to three batters, giving up a hit and two walks, before the game was called.

The Phillies had nine hits in the second game, with Chase Utley leading the way with three hits, including two doubles. Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez and Ryan Howard got the Phils other six hits, having two hits apiece, with both Howard and Ibanez hitting a home run, while Rollins got a triple. Ibanez knocked in three runs, while Howard brought in two and Utley and Ruiz each brought in a run. The Phillies bat seems to have come alive on their trip to the nation’s capital, as they get ready for a series sweep.

The Phillies (19-16, 2nd) conclude their trip to Washington with an afternoon game with the Nationals (11-24, 5th). The game will be played at Nationals Park and will begin at 1:35 pm. Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Chan Ho Park (1-1, 6.00), who is coming off his second straight quality start, this one against the Dodgers on May 12, as he went six innings, giving up only two runs on seven hits, while striking out three, in the Phils’ 5-3 win. He will be going for his third straight quality start and his second straight win, while giving the Phils the chance to sweep the series. The Nationals will send to the mound, Jordan Zimmermann (2-1, 5.90), who is coming off a no-decision against the Giants on May 12, as he went six innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out eight, in the Nationals’ 9-7 lost. He will be trying to keep the Nats from being swept. The Phillies will be trying to leave Washington with a sweep, after having already recorded a series win at the start of their road trip.

Phillies watch their five-game winning streak end as they fall to the Nationals, 4-1.

Well, everything must end, and sadly, in this case, it was the Phillies’ five-game winning streak as they lose to the Nationals, 4-1.

The Phillies took an early, as, with one out, Shane Victorino hits a solo home run, his third home run of the year, making it 1-0 Phillies. The Nationals would tie it up at one-all in the third, as, with the bases loaded, via a double, to Anderson Hernandez, a walk to Nationals’ starter Scott Olsen, who was then forced out at second on a Cristian Guzman ground ball to first, 3-6, which sent Hernandez to third, while Guzman would beat out Jimmy Rollins’ throw back to first base, a Chris Coste pass ball, which sent Guzman up to second base, and a walk to Nick Johnson, with two men out, as Ryan Zimmerman walked, forcing in Hernandez with the tying run and moving Guzman and Johnson up to third and second base, respectively. The Nationals took the lead in the fifth, as, with a runner on second base, and one man out, Elijah Dukes hits an RBI single, scoring Zimmerman, who had earlier doubled, making it 2-1 Nationals. The Nationals increased their lead three batters later, as, now with two men on base, and two men outs, Hernandez hits an RBI single, knocking in Dukes, who had moved up to second base on Josh Willingham’s single, making it 3-1 Nats, while sending Willingham over to third. The Nationals added an insurance run in the eighth, as, with two men on, and two outs, Hernandez hits an RBI double, scoring pinch runner Willie Harris, who had taken over first base after Adam Dunn had earlier singled and had stolen second base, making it 4-1 Nationals, while sending Jesus Flores, who had earlier been intentionally walked, over to third. That ended up being the final score, as the Phillies would be unable to mount a comeback in the bottom half of the eighth.

Brett Myers took the lost, as he pitched six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and three walks, as he struck out three. His record is now 1-2 with a 4.83 ERA. Although he gave up no home runs in this game, his pitch count is getting too high as he is getting into too many 3-2 counts. Jack Taschner pitched two innings in relief, giving up a run on two hits and two walks, while striking out two. J.A. Happ pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, as he struck out a batter. Scott Olsen got the win as he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on six hits and two walks, while striking out six. His record is now 1-3 with a 6.08 ERA. Garrett Mock pitched a scoreless inning and a third as he held back the Phillies, giving up no hits and a walk, while striking out one. Kip Wells also pitched a scoreless inning as he held, giving up only two walks. Julian Tavarez recorded his first save of the year as he pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up just one hit, as he struck out a batter.

The Phillies were only able to record seven hits in the game. Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard both led the way with two hits each, all singles, as Rollins raised his batting average to .207, seeming to be ready to hit over .400 for the month of May as he’d predicted a few days ago. Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez had the other three hits, with Victorino’s hit, a home run, knocking in the Phils only run of the game. The lost gives the Phils an 11-9 record for the month of April, their second straight winning April. It would seems that the starters are starting to get their act together, which would be great news for the Phillies’ offense, as it would give them less reasons to be trying to come from behind to win games.

The Phillies (11-9, 2nd) have the day off today. Their next game will be played tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park against the New York Mets. The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. 

Spring Training: Phillies lose their final Grapefruit League game in a 12-10 shoot out with the Nationals.

In their final Grapefruit League game, the Phillies lose a wild shoot out with the Washington Nationals, 12-10.

Jamie Moyer started the game for the Phils and, in four innings of work, got torched by the Nats for nine runs on eleven hits, including two home runs to Ryan Zimmerman, a solo shot in the third and two-run home run in the fourth, and a two-run home run to Austin Kearns, also in the fourth inning, and two walks while striking out three. Not a typical Moyer game, but hopefully he now has it out of his system before he goes on to face the Atlanta Braves this upcoming Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park. Clay Condrey followed for two scoreless innings, giving up only a hit and a walk as he struck out one. Chad Durbin then pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits while striking out one. Jack Taschner took the lost as he pitched an inning, giving up two runs on two hits, a pair of solo home runs to Cristian Guzman and Alex Cintron, and two walks as he struck out one batter. Gary Majewski ended the game for the Phillies, pitching a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Taschner spring training record with the Phils is now 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA.

Among the batters, the Phils collected twelve hits. Pedro Feliz led the team with four hits, including a double and a solo home run in the second, as he knocked in three runs while scoring two. Ryan Howard and Matt Stairs both followed him with two hits apiece, with each man hitting a home run, with Howard’s being a two-run shot in the first, his tenth home run of the spring, while Stairs hit a three-run home run in the sixth. Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez, Eric Bruntlett and Carlos Ruiz had the other four Phillies’ hits, with Ruiz knocking in a run. Greg Dobbs had the Phils’ final RBI.

After the game, the Phillies took a chartered plane back home to Philadelphia, where they will play two spring training games at Citizens Bank Park against the 2008 American League Champions Tampa Bay Rays. The first of the two games is to be played tonight at 7:05 pm.

In other sports new, as the Villanova Wildcats prepare to meet the North Carolina Tar Heels in Detroit, Michigan, to get into the NCAA Championship Game, one of my three alma maters, the Penn State Nittany Lions Basketball Team yesterday defeated the Baylor Bears, 69-63, at Madison Square Garden in New York City, to win the 2009 NIT Tournament. To say that I’m right now a very happy puma (not lion as the Nittany Lion is actually a Mountain Lion or Puma) is an understatement.

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 2: Repeat! Repeat! The Phillies defeat the Nationals, 4-3, winning their second straight divisional title.

The Phillies held on to defeat the Nationals, 4-3, to win their second straight Eastern Division Championship. The Phillies would take the lead in the fourth, as, with runners on the corners and no one out, Pat Burrell would hit a foul ball sacrifice fly, scoring Chase Utley, who has earlier singled and would go to third on Ryan Howard’s single, giving the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead. Three batters later, with the bases loaded and still one out, Carlos Ruiz would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Howard, who would go to second on Shane Victorino’s single, and would then move up to third on Pedro Feliz’s walk, while Victorino would move up to second on the walk, giving the Phillies a 2-0 lead. The Nationals would cut the Phillies’ lead down to 2-1 in the fifth, as, with a runner on second and two outs, Anderson Hernandez would hit a RBI double, scoring Roger Bernadina, who has earlier singled and would move on to second on Nationals’ starter John Lannan’s sacrifice bunt, 1-4. The Phillies would get that run back in their half of the fifth as Jayson Werth would hit a lead-off solo home run, his twenty-fourth home run of the year, giving the Phillies a 3-1 lead. In the sixth, the Nats would threaten to score as they would get their first two hitters, Ryan Zimmerman and Lastings Milledge, on base with singles, with Milledge’s being a bunt single that succeeded because Moyer has broken originally towards third base at the end of his delivery, before he was unable to grab the ball, putting Nats runners on first and second. But Moyer would then get out of the inning by getting first Elijah Dukes and then Aaron Boone to fly out to center and then getting Wil Nieves to strike out swinging. In the eighth inning, the Nats would make it close as, with runners on second and third, and no one out, Milledge would hit a sacrifice fly on a great play made by Jimmy Rollins for the inning’s first out, as Cristian Guzman, who has earlier singled and would go to third on Zimmerman’s double, would score during the collision between Rollins and a sliding Victorino, in which they would hit their right shins together, making it 3-2 Phils. As Rollins walk back to his position, walking it off, Victorino would lie on his back for a while, before he finally got back up and then walked it off as well, before the game resumed. Ryan Madson, who was pitching in relief of Chad Durbin, who, in turn, had pitched the seventh in relief of Phillies’ starter Jamie Moyer, would end the inning by first getting Dukes to ground out, 6-4, and then getting Boone to strike out swinging. The Phillies would get that run back as, with a runner on first and two outs, Feliz would hit a RBI double, scoring Victorino, who has earlier singled and would run all the way home, making it 4-2 Phillies. The ball is then given to Brad Lidge to close it out. After striking out Emilio Bonifacio, he would give up a single to Bernadina. Pinch hitter Ryan Langerhans would than get on base with a walk, moving Bernadina up to second. Hernandez would follow with a RBI single, scoring Bernadina and sending Langerhans to second, making it 4-3 Phillies. Guzman would then single, moving Langerhans and Hernandez both up a base, as the bases are now loaded. The next batter, Zimmerman, would then hit a ground ball that tried to go into right center field for a hit. Rollins would stop the ball, and then threw it perfectly to Utley for the inning’s second out, wiping out Hernandez. Utley then threw a high throw that was brought down by Howard, beating out a slow running Zimmerman for the game’s final out on a double play and would lead to the start of the Phillies’ celebration of their second straight National League Eastern Division Championship, won at home for only the second time in the Phillies’ history.

Jamie Moyer would get the win, in the process tying Nolan Ryan’s record for the most games won by a 45 years old pitcher, as he went six innings, giving up only one earned run on six hits. His record is now 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA. Chad Durbin would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning, giving up one earned run on two hits. Brad Lidge would pitch an inning, as he gave up an earned run on three hits as he recorded his forty-first save in forty-one attempts. John Lannan would get the lost, as he pitched five innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits. His record is now 9-15 with a 3.91 ERA. Steven Shell would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Mike Hinckley would pitch an inning and a third, giving up no runs on no hits. Garrett Mock would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits.

 With the victory, the Phillies have captured their seventh National League Eastern Division pennant in the team’s 126 years history, and their first two consecutive divisional crowns since they have won three Eastern Division pennants back in 1976-1978. This is the first time that they have entered the postseason for two straight seasons since the 1980-1981 seasons. Jamie Moyer, for the second straight season, has pitched the Phillies into the playoffs with his strong six innings outing. Every regular, except for Carlos Ruiz, would get at least one hit, while Shane Victorino would go 3 for 4, all singles, and scoring what would turn out to be the game winning run.

The 2008 Eastern Divisional Champion Phillies (91-70) will be playing their last regular season game tomorrow afternon, Fan Appreciation Day, against the Nationals (59-101). The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 1:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter, thank to the clinching, will be J.A. Happ (1-0, 3.90), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on September 21, as he went six and two-thirds innings, giving up only two earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 6-2 win, instead of their ace Cole Hamels, who will now be given the day off. He has faced the Nationals once before, pitching an inning in relief against them on September 1, as he gave up no runs on one hit, in the Phillies’ 7-4 lost. In four starts, he is 1-0 with three no-decisions, all of which would be won by the Phillies, with an ERA of 2.28. He will be trying for his second major league win tomorrow afternoon. His opponent will be Odalis Perez (7-11, 4.27), who is coming off a lost to the Padres on September 21, as he went six innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, in the Nationals’ 6-2 lost. In his last appearance against the Phillies on September 3, he pitched a no-decision, going five innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, in the Nationals’ 9-7 win. He will be trying to improve his record and end the Nationals’ season on a high note.

The Phillies are still ahead of the Mets by two games, as they defeated the Marlins. In the Wild Card race, the Mets and the Brewers are once again tied for the wild card lead as the Brewers lost to the Cubs. The Wild Card race will now go down to the wire between the Mets and the Brewers with the magic number for both being at 2. The Phillies will more than likely be resting most of their regulars tomorrow, while waiting to see who their opponent will be in the National League Divisional Series.

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 3: The Phillies’ bat and Blanton’s pitching would help the Phillies defeat the Nats, 8-4. The Marlins’ defeat of the Mets would help shrink the Phils’ magic number down to 1.

The Phillies’ offense early innings offensive, and Blanton’s excellent pitching, would lead the Phillies to easily defeat the Nationals, 8-4. A Mets’ lost to the Marlins would help drop the Phillies’ magic number to win the Eastern Division down to one. The Phillies would take a quick lead in the first, as, with runners on the corners and one man out, Ryan Howard would hit a three-run home run, his forty-eighth home run of the year, scoring Jayson Werth, who has earlier singled and has moved to third on Chase Utley’s single, and Utley, who has singled earlier, to give the Phillies a quick 3-0 lead. The Nationals would get a run back in the second, as, with a runner on third and two outs, Luke Montz would hit a RBI single, knocking in Elijah Dukes who has earlier walked, went to second on a pass ball, moved to third on Kory Casto’s ground out, 4-3, to make it a 3-1 Phillies’ lead. The Phillies would blow the game wide open in their half of the second, as, with the bases loaded via a double (Greg Dobbs), a walk (Jimmy Rollins) and an infield single (Werth) and two outs, Utley would clear the bases by hitting a three-run RBI double, scoring Dobbs, Rollins and Werth, giving the Phillies a 6-1 lead. Howard would then follow with a RBI double, knocking in Utley, making it 7-1 Phils. The Nationals would cut the Phillies’ lead down in the fifth, as, with two men on and one out, Emilio Bonifacio would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Pete Orr, who would reach first on Howard’s fielding error and would move to third on Roger Bernadina’s double, to make it a 7-2 Phillies’ lead. One batter later, Bernadina would score on a Cristian Guzman’s single, cutting the Phillies’ lead down to 7-3. In the sixth, the Nationals would cut the lead down further to 7-4 Phillies as, with two outs, Casto would hit a solo home run, his second home run of the year, after the umpires have reviewed the play and dismissed Charlie Manuel’s argument that a fan has pulled the ball into the right field stands. The Phillies would get that run back in the seventh as, with runners on second and third and two men outs, Utley, who has earlier singled, stole second and would reached third on Shane Victorino’s force out, which would wipe out Pat Burrell, who has earlier walked, would crossed the plate on a pass ball, while Victorino, who has earlier stole second, would move on to third, making it 8-4 Phillies. Brad Lidge would then be given the ball in the ninth and would pitch a 1-2-3 inning.

Joe Blanton would get the win as he pitches six very strong innings, giving up four runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits. His record is now 9-12, 4-0 as a Phil, with an ERA of 4.69. Scott Eyre would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits while striking out two. Ryan Madson would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Brad Lidge would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out two. Collin Balester would take the lost, as he only went an inning and a third, giving up seven earned runs on seven hits. Jason Bergmann would pitch two and one third innings, giving up no runs on one hit. Charlie Manning would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Garrett Mock would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Mike Hinckley would pitch two thirds of an inning, giving up an unearned run on one hit. Jesus Colome would pitch an inning and a third, giving up no runs on no hits.

The Phillies’ offense would bust the game open early in the first two innings, via a three-run home run by Ryan Howard and a three-run double by Chase Utley. With this big runs support, Joe Blanton would be able to mow down the Nationals, getting most of them out via a large number of ground ball outs. The score is closer than it actually should have been, as one National run would come in thanks in part to a Carlos Ruiz pass ball on a Blanton pitch, and their second and third runs would cross the plate because of Ryan Howard’s fielding error on a ball that was hit straight to him. Whatever Charlie Manuel has told his men during their afternoon meeting must’ve worked as they would score several very early runs.

The Phillies (90-70) will continue their final three games home stand of the regular season with the Nationals (59-100) with a game this afternoon, which will be nationally televised by Fox Sports. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 3:55 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be the 45 years old veteran Jamie Moyer (15-7, 3.78), who is coming off a win against the Marlins on September 21, where he went six innings, giving up only one earned run on six scattered hits, in the Phillies’ 5-2 win. In his last start against the Nats on August 21, he would receive a no-decision as he went six and one third innings, giving up just an earned run on five hits, in the Phillies’ 4-3 lost. He will be trying for both his team leading sixteenth victory and to clinch the Phillies into the playoffs, if the Marlins don’t defeat the Mets earlier in the day. The Nationals will send to the mound John Lannan (9-14, 3.86), who is coming off a lost to the Padres on September 20, when he went seven innings, giving up four runs, only one of which was earned, on four hits, in the Nationals’ 6-1 lost. In his last two starts against the Phillies, his record is 0-2, where he pitched a combined total of eleven and two-thirds innings, giving up eight earned runs on fourteen hits. He will be trying to get his tenth victory while trying to see if he can stop the Phillies’ clinching celebration for one more day.

The Phillies are now ahead of the Mets in the East by two games after their lost to the Marlins, leaving the Phillies’ magic number to win the division at one. In the Wild Card race, the Brewers are now leading the Mets by one game as they defeated the Cubs, with their magic number to clinch the Wild Card now at two. The Phillies could clnch the East Saturday afternoon, with the clinching party being seen on national television, if the Mets haven’t already lost to the Marlins by then. Whatever happens, the Phillies need to take care of their own buisness and defeat the Nationals. GO PHILLIES!!!!

The Phillies are once again done in in the eighth inning as the Phils lose to the Nats, 9-7.

The Phillies’ bullpen would give up four runs in the bottom of the eighth which would help to do the Phillies in, 9-7, as the team now fall three games behind the first place Mets before their important weekend series with them. The Phillies would take the lead in the first, as, with a man on and two outs, Ryan Howard would hit a two-run home run, his thirty-eighth home run of the year, scoring Chase Utley, who has earlier been hit by the pitch, to give the Phils a quick 2-0 lead. The Nats would come back in their half of the first, as, with a man on and one man out, Ryan Zimmerman would hit a RBI double, knocking in Cristian Guzman, who has singled earlier, to cut the Phillies lead to 2-1. The Nats would then tie the score at two all, as, with two men on and two out, Kory Castro would hit a RBI single, scoring Zimmerman and sending Elijah Dukes, who has earlier walked, to third. Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton would finally end the inning by getting Wil Nieves to ground out, second to first. The Phillies would retake the lead in the third, as Utley would hit a RBI triple, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier singled, to give the Phils a 3-2 lead. The Nationals would then tie the score in the fifth, as, with the bases loaded via a walk (Emilio Bonifacio), a single (Guzman) and a second walk (Zimmerman), and with Ryan Madson now on the mound in place of Blanton, the next batter, Lastings Milledge, would hit a ground ball to Howard. Instead of going home to force out Bonifacio, Howard would instead throw to second, which would force out Zimmerman for the inning’s first out, as Bonifacio would score the tying run, while Guzman would move over to thiird as Bonifacio would be safe at first, leaving runners on the corners for the Nationals. Dukes would then come up and hit a grounder to third baseman Pedro Feliz. Instead of throwing home to cut down Zimmerman, Feliz would instead throw over to second to try and start a double play. Instead, Feliz would only force out Bonifacio for the inning’s second out as Bonifacio would take out Utley with a good slide, allowing Zimmerman to score, giving the Nats a 4-3 lead, while Dukes would be safe at first. Madson would finally end the inning by striking out Castro. The Phillies would retake the lead in the sixth as Howard would hit his second two-run home run of the night, his thirty-ninth home run of the year, knocking in Jayson Werth, who has earlier singled, to make it 5-4 Phillies. The Nationals would then tie it five all in the seventh, as, with two outs, Zimmerman would hit a solo home run, his eleventh home run of the year. Then would come the nightmarish eighth inning. With Chad Durbin still pitching for the Phils, Castro would start off the inning with a single. After Castro is replaced by pinch runner Pete Orr, Nieves would mess up a sacrifice bunt attempt by poping up to Howard for the inning’s first out. Then everything would unravel for the Phils. Durbin would unfurl a wild pitch that would send Orr over to second base. Roger Bernadina would then get a single, sending Orr to third, putting runners on the corners. Ronnie Beliard would follow with a RBI single, knocking in Orr, to give the Nationals a 6-5 lead, while sending Bernadina to second. Durbin would then be replaced by J.C. Romero. Bernadina would proceed to steal third before Romero would walk Bonifacio to load the bases. Guzman would then hit a three-run double, scoring Bernadina, Beliard and Bonifacio, to give the Nationals a 9-5 lead. Clay Condrey would then come in to replace Romero, soon ending the inning without any more damage. The Phillies would then strike back in the ninth, as with one man on and no one out, Matt Stairs would hit a RBI double to score Shane Victorino, who has only earlier singled, to make it 9-6 Nationals. Rollins would then move Stairs over to third as he grounds out, second to first, for the inning’s first out. Utley would then hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Stairs, to make it 9-7 Nats. And that would be the final score as Werth would end the game by striking out swinging.

Joe Blanton would receive a no-decision as he pitches only four innings plus three batters, giving up four earned runs on six hits. Ryan Madson would pitch two scoreless innings, giving up no hits. Scott Eyre would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs and no hits. Chad Durbin would receive his sixth blown save of the year, as well as the lost as he goes two-thirds of an inning, giving up four earned runs on five hits. His record is now 5-4 with a 2.69 ERA. J.C. Romero would face only two batters, getting out neither of them as he gives up a hit and walks one. Clay Condrey would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Odalis Perez would also get a no-decision as he pitches five innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits. Marco Estrada would have his first blown save of the year as he faces three batters, giving up two earned runs on three hits. Jesus Colome would pitch a scoreless, hitless inning. Mike Hinckley would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up one hit. Steven Shell would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no hits or runs. Saul Rivera would get the win as he pitch a scoreless inning, giving up jut one hit. His record is now 5-5 with a 3.52 ERA. Joel Hanrahan would pitch an inning, giving up two runs on two hits.

The lost put the Phillies in a bind as they now head to New York, needing to either sweep or win the series if they don’t want to fall any further behind the Mets. It would seems that Charlie Manuel’s strategic thinking in this game would backfire on him in the seventh as he would take out Scott Eyre, after he has gotten out the two batters that he would face, to have Chad Durbin handle the right handers in the Nationals’ line-up. The move would blow up in his face instead as Durbin would give up a solo home run to Ryan Zimmerman to tie the score The less said about the eighth inning nightmare that he started the better, as the Phillies would lose another recent game in that inning. Something needs to be done about this, and quickly, before that inning becomes a real major problem for the Phillies’ bullpen’s egos during the last twenty-two games of the season.

The lost puts the Phillies’ three games behind the Mets as the Mets would sweep the Brew Crew in Milwaukee, while they are now five games ahead of the now fading Marlins as they lost to the Braves. The Phillies, who have tomorrow off, now heads into New York with a series that will either see them get closer to the Mets or see them fall further behind them.