Thanks to good pitching from Jamie Moyer and the bullpen and a pair of two-run home runs from Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz, the Phillies have finally sank the Marlins hopes for a playoff spot as they defeated the fish, 5-2. They increased their lead to a game and a half in the Eastern Division as the Mets’ lost to the Braves thanks to their bullpen emploding once again. The Phillies would take the lead in the third when, with a runner on second and no one out, Chase Utley would hit a two-run home run, his thirty-second home run of the year, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier doubled, to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. The Phils would add to their lead in the fourth as, with runners on first and third and two men outs, Rollins would hit a RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz who has earlier singled and would reached third on Marlins’ right fielder’s Cody Ross fielding error on Phillies’ starter Jamie Moyer’s fly ball, giving the Phillies a 3-0 lead, while Moyer would move up to second on Rollins’ single. Marlins’ starter Chris Volstad would then hit Chase Utley with the pitch to load the bases as Moyer and Rollins would both move up a base. Volstad would then get out of the inning by getting Jayson Werth to hit into a force out, as Marlins’s third baseman Jorge Cantu would touch third base before Rollins. The Marlins would then try to score a run in the fifth. After Moyer gets out the first two Marlins’ batters, he would give up a two-out double to John Baker. The next batter, Cantu, would reach base on a fielding error by Ryan Howard on a ball that Howard would be unable to handle, while Baker would move over to third on the play. Mike Jacobs would then hit a ground ball to Howard that would first hit Howard’s glove and then possibly his face, but Howard would still be able to throw Jacobs out at first, with Moyer covering the bag, as Jacobs did not immediately run out of the box, since he’d thought that Ryan has actually caught the ball, ending the threat. The Marlins would then cut the lead in the sixth as, with a runner on second and two outs, Alfredo Amezaga would hit a RBI single, scoring Josh Willingham, who has earlier doubled, making it a 3-1 Phillies’ lead. The Marlins would then make the score even closer in the seventh, as, with the bases loaded, thanks to a double (Baker/given up by Chad Durbin), a single (Cantu/also by Durbin) and a walk (Dan Uggla/by J.C. Romero), and two men out, Willingham would hit a sharp ground ball down the third base line that would be stopped by third baseman Greg Dobbs, who would then be unable to make the play, as Baker scores, making it 3-2 Phils, while the bases would remain loaded as Willingham would be credited with a single as Cantu and Uggla would both move up a base. Dobbs’ play would save at least a second run from scoring as Clay Condrey would come in in place of Romero and would get Ross to hit into a force play to third baseman Pedro Feliz, who has just replaced Dobbs, as he has suffered a leg cramp on the previous play, who would throw to Utley to force out Willingham, thus ending the inning. The Phillies would then put the game away in the eighth, as, with a runner on first and no one out, Feliz would hit a two-run home run, his fourteenth home run of the year, knocking in Shane Victorino who has reached base earlier with a single. After Ryan Madson has put the Marlins down 1-2-3 in their half of the eighth, Brad Lidge would be handed the ball in the ninth to end the game. The Marlins would get runners on first and second with two men outs, but Lidge would finally end the game by getting pinch hitter Dallas McPherson to strike out swinging for his fortieth save of the year.
Jamie Moyer would get the win as he would go six innings, giving up just an earned run on six hits while striking out four. His record is now 15-7 with a 3.78 ERA, while his career record against the Marlins is now 11-1. Chad Durbin would pitch one-third of an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits while walking one. Clay Condrey would also pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Ryan Madson would pitch a 1-2-3 scoreless inning. Brad Lidge would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk while striking out two as he records his fortieth save in forty tries. Chris Volstad would take the lost, as he pitches five innings, giving up three runs, two of which were earned, on six hits. His record is now 5-4 with a ERA of 3.10. Doug Waechter would go a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Andrew Miller would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Kevin Gregg would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Joe Nelson would pitch an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Ryan Tucker would pitch a scoreless 1-2-3 inning.
Although out hit by the Marlins, the Phillies’ offense would get the hits when they counted on Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz’s two two-run home runs, with the second one helping to take some of the wind out of the Marlins’ sails. The Phillies have won their fourth straight series since losing two of three to the Marlins at home, doing what they needed to do to get into first place in first the wild card chase and then the Eastern Division, as they watch first the Brewers and then the Mets slip out of the lead in the wild card and the division respectively. At the same time, they have put the Marlins out of contention in both the East and the wild card race. For the Phillies, the magic number to get into the playoffs is now set at 3. Hopefully, they can get it done by the time the Braves leave town this Wednesday.
The Phillies (86-68) will be coming home for their final home stand of the regular season, playing three games with the fourth place Braves (69-87). The first game of the series will be played tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be rookie J.A. Happ (1-0, 4.24), who is coming off a win against these same Braves on September 17, as he would pitch six shut out innings, giving up only three hits, in the Phillies’ 6-1 win. In three starts this year, Happ’s ERA is 2.12. He will be trying for his second major league win, while trying to get the Phillies even closer to reentering the playoffs. The Braves will counter with Jair Jurrjens (13-10, 3.72), who is coming off a lost to the Phillies on September 17, as he went five innings, giving up four earned runs on five hits, in the Braves’ 6-1 lost. He will be trying to improve on his last start, while trying to slow down the Phillies’ charge towards the playoffs.
With the win, the Phillies have increased their lead over the Mets to a game and a half as they lost to the Braves. They have increased their lead over the Marlins to six and a half games with the win. In the Wild Card race, the Mets now lead the Brewers by one and a half games as they defeated the Reds. The Mets now lead the Astros by four games as they beat the Pirates. The Phillies will now come home, trying to first clinch a spot in the playoffs before going for either the Eastern Division flag or the Wild Card spot.
The Phillies, behind Joe Blanton and the bullpen, would hold on in a heart stopper to defeat the Marlins, 3-2. The win and the Mets’ lost to the Braves would put the Phillies back into first place in the Eastern Division pennant race. The Phillies would take the lead in the third as, with two men on and one out, Chase Utley would hit a RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who has gotten on base earlier on Marlins’ third baseman Jorge Cantu’s throwing error, and would then go to second on Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton’s sacrifice bunt, who would in turn be safe on first on Marlins’ starter Anibal Sanchez’s own throwing error, giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead. The Marlins would then strike back in their half of the third, when, with two men on and one out, John Baker would hit a two-run double, scoring Alfredo Amezaga, who has earlier singled and would move on to second on Cameron Maybin’s single, and Maybin, who has singled, to give the Marlins a 2-1 lead. The Phillies would tie the game up in the fourth as, with one out, Shane Victorino would hit a solo home run, his fourteenth home run of the year. The Phillies would then retake the lead in the sixth, as with two men on and two out, Greg Dobbs would hit a bloop single to left, scoring Ryan Howard, who has gotten on base earlier with a walk, giving the Phillies a 3-2 lead, and sending Pat Burrell, who has also walked, to second. After throwing two balls to Ruiz, Sanchez would be taken out of the game because of cramps to his right leg. The Marlins’ relief pitcher, Logan Kensing, would then throw two balls to Ruiz, walking him and loading the bases, although the walk would be charged to Sanchez. Kensing would then be taken out for Mark Hendrickson, who would get pinch hitter Tadahito Iguchi, who was pinch hitting for the originally announced pinch hitter Geoff Jenkins, who was pinch hitting for Blanton, to fly out to end the inning. The Phillies bullpen would then spend the next four innings turning back the Marlins. Sixth: Chad Durbin would get the first two batters out but would then give up a walk to Josh Willingham. But with the count 2-1 on Cody Ross, Ruiz would pick Willingham off first base, with Howard applying the tag, to end the inning. Seventh: After getting out the first batter, Durbin would give up a single to Amegaza. Charlie Manuel would then come out of the dugout, and replace Durbin with J.C. Romero. Romero would then walk pinch hitter Paul Lo Duca, sending Amegaza to second. After Brett Carroll goes to first base to pinch run for Lo Duca, Romero would proceed to strike out Maybin for the inning’s second out, and then strike out Baker to end the inning. Eighth: With Ryan Madson on the mound, he would give up a single to Cantu and then a double to Mike Jacobs, putting runners on second and third, with no one out, thanks to Jayson Werth’s playing of the ball after it drops in. After Jacobs is replaced by pinch runner Robert Andino, Dan Uggla would hit a slow roller to third. After getting the ball, Phillies’ third baseman Greg Dobbs would throw home, cutting down Andino, who would be tagged out by Ruiz, although instant replay would show that he might have beaten the tag, for the inning’s first out, while Jacobs would stay at second as Uggla would reach first on the fielder’s choice. Willingham would then hit into a force out, 6-4, cutting down Uggla at second, while Jacobs would go on to third, putting runners on the corners with two out. Madson would then end the inning by striking out Ross. Ninth: The ball is then handed over to Phillies’ closer Brad Liddge. Lidge would start the inning off by walking the pesky Amegaza. He would then strike out pinch hitter Dallas McPherson swinging for the inning’s first out, while Amegaza would steal second on the third strike. Lidge would then strike out Maybin swinging for the inning’s second out before he finally ends the ball game by striking out Baker, also swinging, for his thirty-ninth save in thirty-nine tries.
Joe Blanton would get the win, his third win as a Phil, as he would pitch five innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits, while striking out nine. His record is now 8-12, 3-0 as a Phil, while his ERA is now 4.79. Chad Durbin would pitch one and a third innings, giving up no runs on one hit. J.C. Romero would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no hits while striking out two. Ryan Madson would pitch a scoreless inning, as he gives up two hits and strikes out one as he pitched his way out of a two on, no outs jam. Brad Lidge would pitch a scoreless ninth as he struck out the side swinging while also walking one, as he recorded his thirty-ninth save of the year. Anibal Sanchez would get the lost, as he goes five and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on four hits, as he struck out eight while also walking three. His record is now 2-5 with a 5.57 ERA. Logan Kensing would pitch to one batter, walking him, but having it charged to Sanchez, because of the 2-0 count thanks to Sanchez’s injury. Mark Hendrickson would pitch an inning and a third, giving up no runs on no hits. Kevin Gregg and Joe Nelson would both pitch a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit (Nelson) while striking out three batters between them (Gregg (2) and Nelson (1)).
Blanton would pitch five strong innings, being able to keep the fish off-balanced enough that they would only get four hits off of him while getting nine of the Marlins to strike out. The bullpen would then take over and pitch four shut out innings, refusing to give the Marlins’ batters that clutch hit, especially in the eighth inning, when they had runners on second and third with no outs, thus ending the Marlins’ winning streak at nine games, and bringing a little bit closer the ending of the Marlins’ hopes for a playoff berth.
The once again first place Phillies (87-68) will play the final game of their series with the third place Marlins (81-73) tomorrow afternoon. The game will be played at Dolphin Stadium and will start at 4:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be the Marlins’ nemesis Jamie Moyer (14-7, 3.86), who will be coming off a no-decision against the Braves on September 16, where he went five and two-thirds innings, giving up six earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 8-7 win. His last start against the Marlins on August 5 was a lost as he was only able to go five innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits in the Phillies’ 8-2 lost. Lifeteime, his record against the Marlins is 10-1. He will be trying to regain his dominance over the young Marlins’ batters while gunning for his fifteenth win of the year. The Marlins will counter with rookie Chris Volstad (5-3, 3.07), who is coming off a win against the Astros on September 16, where he went eight innings, giving up an earned run on four hits, in the Marlins’ 5-1 win. He has faced the Phillies twice already this year, being 1-0 with a no-decision, as he would pitch a combine total of nine innings, giving up an earned run on five hits. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to hurt the Phillies’ pennant chances.
The Phillies are once again leading the Mets by half a game as they lost to the Braves. Their lead over the Marlins is now back to five and a half games thanks to their win over the fish. In the Wild Card chase, the Mets lead the Brewers by two and a half games as the Brewers lost to the Reds. The Mets lead both the Marlins and the Astros by five games, as the Astros lost to the Pirates. The Phillies will be trying for a series win while also hoping to increase their lead over the Mets in the Eastern Division.
Brett Myers talked himself into pitching the eighth inning, and this time he was unable to get through the danger zone inning as the Phillies lose another game to the pesky Marlins, 7-3. The Phillies would take the lead in the second inning as Ryan Howard lead-off the inning hitting a solo home run, his forty-second home run of the year, giving the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead. The Marlins would take the lead in the third, as, with a man on first and one out, Luis Gonzalez would hit a two-run home run, knocking in Hanley Ramirez, who has earlier walked, to give the Marlins a 2-1 lead. The Marlins would add to their lead in the fourth, as, with a runner on third and two outs, Marlins’ starter Ricky Nolasco would help his own cause by hitting a RBI single, scoring Dallas McPherson, who has earlier doubled, and has gone to third on Alfredo Amezaga’s ground out to first for the inning’s second out, to make it 3-1 Marlins. The Phillies would come back in the fifth, as, with a runner on first and no one out, Chris Coste would hit a RBI double, scoring Greg Dobbs, who has earlier singled, to cut the Marlins’ lead to 3-2. Two outs later, Coste, after being moved to third by a Brett Myers’ sacrifice bunt, would score on a Jayson Werth single, tying the ballgame. Neither team would score in both the sixth and seventh innings, as Nolasco and Myers would take control of the game. Myers, although having already thrown 104 pitches by the start of the eighth inning, would talk Charlie Manuel into letting him start the inning. Manuel would give him the ball, obviously hoping that he could get the team through the presently nightmarish inning. Sadly, it was not to be as Gonzalez would start the inning off with a single. After Brett Carroll would come in to pitch run for Gonzalez, Myers would proceed to strike out Dan Uggla for the first out of the inning. Mike Jacobs would then follow with a single, sending Carroll to third. As the Marlins sent out Robert Andino to pinch run for Jacobs, Manuel would come out and replace Myers with Chad Durbin to try and put out the fire. Sadly, that didn’t work as Durbin would give up a ground rule double to Josh Willingham, scoring Carroll, making it a 4-3 Marlins’ lead, while sending Andino to third, because of fan’s interference with the ball, that didn’t seem to have occurred according to instant replay. Durbin would then intentionally walk McPherson to load the bases. That move would work as the next batter, Paul Lo Duca, would hit into a 5-4-3 double play, ending the inning. After the Phillies go 1-2-3 in their half of the eighth, the Marlins would break the game wide open in the ninth. Amezaga would start the inning off with a single. After Matt Treanor moves Amezaga to second with a sacrifice bunt for the inning’s first out, Durbin would intentionally walk Ramirez. After Durbin is replaced by J.C. Romero, he would get pinch hitter Cody Ross to fly out for the second out of the inning. But Romero would be unable to get out of the inning as Uggla would follow with a RBI double, scoring both Amezaga and Ramirez, giving the Marlins a 6-3 lead. Romero is then replaced by Clay Condrey. Wes Helm would greet Condrey with a single, scoring Uggla, making it a 7-3 Marlins’ lead. Condrey would finally end the disaster by getting Willingham to line out to left. Matt Lindstrom would then come in the pitch an easy 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth to end the game.
Brett Myers took the hard lost as he goes seven and a third innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits, while striking out nine. His record is now 9-11 with a 4.22 ERA. Chad Durbin would pitch an inning of relief, giving up two earned runs on two hits. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Clay Condrey would also pitch a third of an inning, giving up only a hit. Ricky Nolasco would get the win as he pitches seven and two-thirds innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits, while striking out eight. His record is now 14-7 with a 3.56 ERA. Arthur Rhodes would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Matt Lindstrom would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth.
Brett Myers gave it a good try, but he would simply run out of gas thanks to a high pitch count, while the offense would decide to quit hitting after tying up the game in the fifth inning, getting only one man on base, on a walk to Pat Burrell in the sixth, after Jayson Werth’s RBI single. Myers might not have been sent out to pitch the eighth if the Phillies’ bullpen has been doing well, but of late it has been having a hard time getting through the eight inning. Charlie Manuel’s decision to let Myers go back up out, even with his high count, could have been a good move if Myers had gotten through the inning quickly. Sadly, he would throw thirteen pitches to the three men that he would face in the inning, getting out only one of them. And, of the two that would get on, one would eventually score the game winning run. Meanwhile, the Phillies’ offense went back to it old trick of stopping everything after a certain point, in this case after they have scored the tying run. You folks already know what I think about the offense, so I won’t say much more about it other than this: AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Somebody please wake me up from this recurring nightmare!!!!!
The Phillies (79-67) will now start an important four games series with the Brewers (83-63, 2nd National League Central, 1st N.L. Wild Card). The first games of the series will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Jamie Moyer (13-7, 3.64), who is coming off a victory against the Mets on September 7, where he threw seven innings of shut out ball, giving up only two hits, in the Phillies’ 6-2 win. Moyer is coming off of just three days rest, something he hasn’t done in over two seasons with the Phillies, as the Phils hope that he will give them another quality start while putting them back on the winning track. The Brewers will start Ben Sheets (13-7, 2.82), who is coming off a victory against the Padres on September 6, as he pitched a complete game shut out, giving up only five hits, in the Brewers’ 1-0 win. He will be trying for his fourteenth win of the year while trying to put a nail into the coffin of the Phils’ chances to reach the playoffs.
The Phillies are now trailing the Mets by three and a half games in the East as they defeated the Nationals last night. The Mets have the day off today. The Marlins now trail the Phillies by five games as they also take the day off. In the wild card chase, the Phillies trail the Brewers by four games, as the two teams face off at Citizens Bank Park, while they are tied with the Astros for second place in the wild card race as the Astros defeated the Pirates yesterday, who they will be facing tonight, while the two teams are a half-game ahead of the Cardinals who lost to the Cubs last night, who they will be facing tonight. The Phillies will be doing whatever they can to get back into the Eastern Division pennant race, as well as putting as much pressure as they can on the Brew Crew in the wild card chase with sixteen games left in the season.
In spite of himself, Joe Blanton records his second victory in a Phillie uniform as the Phillies hold on to beat the slowly fading Marlins, 8-6. The Phillies would score first in the first inning, as, with a runner on third and one out, Chase Utley would hit a RBI single, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier singled, stole second and has gone to third on Marlins’ catcher John Baker’s throwing error, to give the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead. It would become 2-0 Phils as Ryan Howard would hit a RBI double, scoring Utley. The Marlins would come back in the second inning, as, with the bases loaded via two straight walks (Mike Jacobs and Dan Uggla) and a single (Josh Willingham) and nobody out, Baker would hit a sacrifice fly for the inning’s first out, scoring Jacobs and moving Uggla to third, cutting the Phillies lead to 2-1. The Marlins would then tie the game on Alfredo Amezaga ground out to first, which would score Uggla with the tying run and move Willingham to second. Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton would finally get out of the inning by getting Marlins’ starter Anibal Sanchez to line out to right. The Phillies would regain the lead in their half of the second as, with runners on second and third and no one out, Blanton would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Matt Stairs, who has earlier walked and has gone to third on Carlos Ruiz’s double, to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead, while sending Ruiz over to third. Ruiz would then score on a RBI single by Rollins, giving the Phillies a 4-2 load. Three batters later, with runners on first and second and two outs, and after Sanchez was replaced by Marlins’ reliever Mark Hendrickson, Howard would hit a RBI single off of Hendrickson’s leg, scoring Rollins, who has stolen second, for his second (of three) stolen bases for the evening, to make it 5-2 Phillies, while Utley, who has walked, would go over to third. Hendrickson would then end the inning by getting Jayson Werth to fly out. The Marlins would make it 5-4 Phillies in the third, as, with a runner on first and two outs, Jacobs would hit a two-run home run, his thirty-first home run of the year, scoring Hanley Ramirez, who has earlier walked, the third man whom Blanton would walk that evening, all of whom would later score. The Marlins would not be able to cause any more damage for the next several innings as Blanton would finally settle down, although being removed after performing five innings of so-so work, and then would be shut down for two superb innings of work by Chad Durbin. In the meantime, Hendrickson would keep the Phillies’ bats quiet for three innings, giving up only one more hit. The Phillies would then strike in the bottom of the seventh, as, with two men on and two outs, Werth would hit a three-run home run, his twenty-second home run of the year, scoring Shane Victorino, who has walked, went to second when Utley was hit by the pitch, and move to third on Howard’s force out, and Howard, who has reached first on a force out, to give the Phillies an 8-4 lead. The Marlins then tried to come back in the eighth. After J.C. Romero would get the lead-off hitter, he would walk Jorge Cantu. Pinch hitter Cody Ross would then follow with a two-run pinch hit home run, his twentieth home run of the year, scoring Cantu, making it 8-6 Phillies. Charlie Manuel would then come out and take out Romero, and replace him with Ryan Madson. Madson would then proceed to strike out Uggla for the second out of the inning. After Madson gives up a double to Willingham, Manuel would come back to the mound and replace Madson with Scott Eyre. Eyre would then end the inning by getting Baker to fly out. In the top of the ninth, Brad Lidge is handed the ball. After getting out the lead-off man, Lidge would give up a double to pinch hitter Dallas McPherson and then a single to Ramirez, putting runners on the corner. But that would be it as Lidge would then strike out both Wes Helm and Cantu to end the ballgame, as he records his thirty-fifth save in as many tries.
Joe Blanton, would get the win, his second as a Phil since the trade, as he only goes five innings, giving up four earned runs on five hits and three walks, all of whom would score. His record is now 7-12 (2-0) with an ERA of 4.86. Chad Durbin would pitch two scoreless innings, giving up no hits. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, giving up two earned runs on one hit and a walk. Ryan Madson and Scott Eyre would both pitch a third of an inning, giving up only one hit (Madson) while striking out one (also Madson). Brad Lidge would pitch a scoreless ninth, giving up two hits while striking out two as he records his thirty-fifth save of the year. Anibel Sanchez would get the lost as he would only last one and two-thirds innings, giving up five earned runs on five hits, and two walks. His record is now 2-4 with a 6.46 ERA. Mark Hendrickson would pitch three and a third innings of shut out ball, giving up only two hits. Logan Kensing would also pitch a scoreless innging, giving up no hits. Andrew Miller would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up two earned runs on no hits, a walk and a hit batter. Joe Nelson would pitch an inning and a third, giving up an earned run on one hit.
In spite of his so-so pitching, Joe Blanton has finally won his second start as a Phil. Frankly, people I am not impressed. Why? Because the press release on this guy says that he can go deep into games and thus help to save the bullpen. For me, late means at least the seventh inning. And how many times has this guy reached at least the seventh? Two times. That’s right, people, just two times. He has not reached the eight or ninth inning since putting on the red pinstripes, and in his nine starts against National League clubs (once his rain shorten appearence has been removed) this is as far as he has gotten: 4 innings: 1; 5 innings: 3; 5 plus innings: 1; 6 innings: 2; 7 innings: 2. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a guy who can go deep into games? Folks, I think the front office, once again, has been outsmarted!!! (Gee, what a surprise, that’s a tradition with the Phillies front office.) Hey Blanton, want to prove me wrong? STOP GETTING INTO LONG PITCH COUNTS IN THE FIRST FEW INNINGS, YOU TWIT!!!!! You’ll get deeper into games.
The Phillies (79-65) will continue their three games home stand with the Marlins (72-72) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (11-8, 5.06), who is coming off a very bad start against the Nationals on September 1, where he only went four innings, giving up six earned runs on eight hits, in the Phillies’ 7-4 lost. The Phils have skipped his previous start in the rotation, which would’ve been last Sunday against the Mets and have put him instead against the fish. During the Mets series he would work out in the bullpen, trying to regain his composure as well as get over his sudden fear of pitching against opposing batters. Rich Dubee has claimed that the change of pace has done Kendrick some good. I for one hope so, although we all know who is waiting in the wings if he continues to mess up. *Cough HAPP Cough* Kendrick will be trying for his twelfth win while hoping to help the Phillies keep pace with the Mets. The Marlins will counter with Chris Volstad (4-3, 3.32), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on September 3, where he went six innings, giving up three runs on six hits, in the Marlins’ 5-3 win. His previous start against the Phillies on August 7 was a victory as he pitched sixth innings, giving up no earned runs on three scattered hits, in the Marlins’ 3-0 win. He will be looking to improve his record while seeing if he can continue to bug the Phillies’ offense.
The Phillies now trail the Mets by a game and a half, as they begin a two games series with the Nationals in New York. They now lead the Marlins by seven games as they continue their series. In the wild card chase, they trail the Brewers by three games as the Brew Crew lost to the Reds, while they are a game and a half ahead of the Cardinals as they prepare to meet the Cubs for three games and are two games ahead of the Astros, who has defeated the Pirates. The Phillies will be trying to gain some ground on both the Mets in the East and the Brewers in the wild card chase.