The Phillies have lost their second straight game in Grapefruit League play as they lose this afternoon to the Cincinnati Reds at Bright House Field, 8-4.
Cole Hamels was the Phils starter and he had not as solid an outing as he did when he pitched against Team Canada last week. Hamels pitched two and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs, on a two-run home run to Ryan Hanigan in the third, on only two hits as he struck out three. Andrew Carpenter pitched next, going two and a third innings, giving up only a run, on a solo home run to Yonder Alonso in the fourth, on just two hits while striking out two. Antonio Bastardo followed him with an inning of work, giving up a run, on a solo home run to Daryle Ward, on only one hit as he struck out two. Justin Lehr would take the mound next, and give up four runs on four hits, including a grand slam home run to Chris Valaika, and a walk as he struck out just one batter. Robert Mosebach and Sergio Escalona would each pitch an inning, each throwing a scoreless frame, with neither pitcher giving up a hit while striking out 3 (Mosebach 2, Escalona 1). Lehr is the losing pitcher, with his Grapefruit League record being 0-1 with a 27.00 ERA.
The Phillies had nine hits in today’s game, with Jason Donald leading the team as he went 3 for 4, all singles. Ryan Howard followed with two hits, including a solo home run in the fourth inning. Jayson Werth, Geoff Jenkins, Miguel Cairo and Lou Marson would each contribute a hit, with Jenkins’ hit being a solo home run in the second. Raul Ibanez got the Phils other RBI.
The Phillies’ record is now 4-6 in Grapefruit League play.
The Phillies are off tomorrow. Their next game will be played on Wednesday as they face the Atlanta Braves at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida at 1:05 pm.
Today’s trivia question is: Name the Phillies’ player who is the team leader in career batting average? You know where to look for the answer. I will post the correct answer on Wednesday.
Behind the pitching of Jamie Moyer, Chad Durbin and Brad Lidge, and the Phillies’ offense, the Phillies would be able to leave Chicago with a split, 5-3. The Phillies would take the lead in the first inning as they went to work on Cubs’ starter Sean Marshall, who was pitching in place of the original starter, Carlos Zambrano, who would claim that he has a ‘dead’ arm. With a runner on second and two outs, Ryan Howard would hit a RBI single, scoring Chase Utley, who has gotten on base earlier with a walk, and then stole second, to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. Two batters latter, Jayson Werth would hit a two-run double, scoring Howard, who has gone to second on Shane Victorino’s single, and Victorino, who has singled, to make it 3-0 Phillies. The Cubs would cut the Phillies’ lead in the second, when, with runners on the corners and one man out, Ronny Cedeno would hit a RBI single, scoring Mark DeRosa, who has earlier singled, would go to second on Geovany Soto’s single and then went to third on Kosuke Fukudome’s force out that would wipe out Soto at second, to make it 3-1 Phillies, while Fukudome would move over to second. The ball should’ve been caught by Victorino in left center field for the inning’s second out, but because there were no clouds overhead, Victorino would have a hard time trying to see the ball, before it would finally bounce off of his right thigh towards Pat Burrell, who would in turn be unable to catch it, as it dropped in for the RBI single. Marshall would then follow with an RBI single of his own, getting it past Utley, who has headed towards first because Marshall made it look like that he was going to put down a sacrifice bunt, scoring Fukudome, and sending Cedeno to second, making it 3-2 Phillies. Phillies’ starter Jamie Moyer would finally end the threat by getting both Alfonso Soriano and Reed Johnson to fly out. The Phillies would add to their lead in the fifth, as, with two men out, Werth would hit his twenty-first home run of the year to give the Phillies a 4-2 lead. The Phils would add their final run in the sixth, as, with a runner on third and one out, Jimmy Rollins would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who has earlier reached base with a double and then went to third on Moyer’s sacrifice bunt, making it 5-2 Phils. The Cubs would threaten to rally in their half of the sixth as they put runners on first (Cedeno-walk) and second (Fukudome-single), with one out. Charlie Manuel would take out Moyer and replace him with Chad Durbin. Durbin would then proceed to get out of the inning by first striking out pinch hitter Ryan Theriot and then getting Soriano to pop out to second. In the eighth, after getting the inning’s first out, Durbin would give up a single to Soto. Manuel would come out and replace Durbin with the previous day’s hero, J.C. Romero. Romero would throw a wild pitch that would send Soto over to second. He would then get Fukudome to ground out, second to first, for the inning’s second out, while Soto would go on to third. Pinch hitter Henry Blanco would then get a pinch single, scoring Soto, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 5-3. Manuel would then come out again and replace Romero with Ryan Madson. Madson would then give up a pinch single to pinch hitter Daryle Ward to put runners on first and second. After Ward is replaced on first by pinch runner Mike Fontenot, Madson would end the inning by striking out Soriano. Brad Lidge would then come in to pitch the ninth, and would records his thirty-third save by pitching a 1-2-3 inning.
Jamie Moyer would get the win as he pitches five and a third innings, giving up only two earned runs on eight hits. His record is now 12-7 with a 3.80 ERA. Chad Durbin would pitch two innings, giving up an earned run on one hit. J.C. Romero and Ryan Madson would each pitch a third of an inning, giving up one hit each. Brad Lidge would pitch a scoreless ninth inning as he recorded his thirty-third save in thirty-three tries. Sean Marshall would get the lost as he pitches five and a third innings, giving up five earned runs on nine hits. His record is now 3-4 with a 4.03 ERA. Jeff Samardzija, Bob Howry and Neal Cotts would combine for three scoreless innings, giving up three hits (Howry (1) and Cott (2)).
The Phillies’ offense would this time score enough runs to win, as they split the four games series and win the season series with the Cubs, while getting twelve hits that would this time be more evenly spread around among the starting eight, with only Pedro Feliz getting the collar. Ryan Howard would lead the offense with three hits, two singles and a double, knocking in a run, while scoring one run. Shane Victornio, Chase Utley and Jayson Werth would follow with two hits each, each scoring a run, while Werth would knock in three of the Phillies’ other runs. Chad Durbin, J.C. Romero and Ryan Madson would all combine to get the Phillies through the eighth inning this time, giving up only one run to the Cubs before Brad Lidge would come in to shut the Cubs down in the ninth.
The Phillies (75-62) will now go on to Washington to start a three games series with the presently hot Nationals (52-85). The game will be played in Nationals Park and will begin at 3:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (11-7, 4.83), who is coming off a no-decision against the Mets on August 27, where he went five plus innings, giving up two earned runs on eight hits, in the Phillies’ 6-3 lost. Lifetime against the Nationals, he is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA in four starts. He will be trying once again for his twelfth win, while seeing if he can cool down the presently hot Nationals. The Nationals will counter with Tim Redding (9-8, 4.54), who is coming off a win against the Dodgers on August 27, where he went six innings, giving up only three earned runs on eight hits, in the Nats’ 5-4 win. He will be trying for his tenth win while seeing if he can defeat the Phillies once again this season.
The Phillies are still a game behind the Mets and five games ahead of the Mets as the Mets defeated the fish. The Phillies will be seeing if they can win the series in Washington and tie for the divisional lead in the East before their weekend series with the Mets in their last trip to Shea Stadium.
The Phillies let another game slip out of their hands as they blow another lead, losing to the Cubs, 3-2. And, to add insult to injury, a bad umpire’s call may have hurt them this time. Like yesterday, the Phillies would score first, as, with two men on and two outs, Pat Burrell would hit a RBI single, knocking in Chase Utley, who has been hit by the pitch, and then would move up to second on Ryan Howard’s walk, giving the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead. The game would then become a pitchers’ duel between two former A’s teammates, Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton and Cubs’ starter Rich Harden. As the Phillies’ batter would be patient at the plate, causing Harden’s pitch count to rise, Blanton would breeze quickly through the first four innings, giving up only a lead-off walk and a hit. The Phillies would finally get their second run off of Harden when, with a runner on first and two outs, Howard would hit a single to right, with Utley, who has gotten on first with a single, would go to third on the hit. Cubs’ right fielder Kosuke Fukudome would then commit a throwing error, which would allow Utley to score, to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. The Cubs would cut the Phillies’ lead to 2-1, as, with runners on the corners on and one out, Daryle Ward would hit a ground ball to Utley. Utley would throw to Jimmy Rollins for the inning’s second out, removing Henry Blanco, who has earlier singled, but he would then make an errant throw to first, which would pull Howard off the first base bag, because of Blanco’s slide which would force Rollins to make a quick throw when he actually have time to throw out Ward, which would not be recorded as an error. The blunder would allow Mark DeRose, who has earlier walked, stole second and has moved to third on Blanco’s single, to score the Cubs’ first run. Blanton would then end the inning by getting Alfonso Soriano to pop out. Blanton would then melt down on the mound in the sixth, as he proceed to walk first Ryan Theriot and then Derrick Lee. After getting out the next two batters, with the runners both moving up a base on the second out, he would then walk DeRosa to load the bases. That was enough for Charlie Manuel, as he would come out to take out Blanton and replace him with Scott Eyre. Eyre would, unfortunatley, walk Fukudome on five pitches, forcing in Theriot, and tying the game at two all, while leaving the bases loaded. Eyre would end the inning by striking out Blanco. In the seventh, the Phillies would try to retake the lead, with runners on the corners and two out, Howard would hit a ball at Cubs’ first baseman Lee, who would proceed to boot the ball, but would somehow be able to throw it in time to pitcher Jeff Samardzija, to get out Howard. This would lead to an argument between Howard, Manuel, Davey Lopes and first base umpire Chris Guccione, while, according to the Phillies’ announcers, Howard, Lopes and Manuel had a point as Howard would actually beat Lee’s throw to first, which would have given the Phillies the lead with Rollins, who was safe on a force out, moved to second on Shane Victorino’s walk and has gone to third during another force out, coming across the plate during the play. Third base coach Steve Smith would eventually be ejected from the game by home plate umpire Bill Welke for still arguing the call. This would turn out to be huge, as, in the Cubs’ half of the seventh, with one out, Clay Condrey would give up a solo home run to Soriano, his twenty-third home run of the year, to give the Cubs a 3-2 lead. This would be the final score, as the Phillies would be unable to score in the eighth inning, and after turning back the Cubs in their half of the eighth, would be unable to get anything done in the ninth, as Carlos Marmol would record his seventh save of the season.
Joe Blanton would get a no-decision as he pitches five and two-thirds innings, giving up only two earned runs on two hits and five very costly walks. Scott Eyre would get his second blown save of the season, as he pitches a third of an inning, giving up only one walk, which sadly brought in the tying run, and one strikeout. Clay Condrey would get the lost as he pitches an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. His record is now 3-4 with a 3.58 ERA. Rudy Seanez would also pitch an inning, as he gives up no run on one hit. Rich Harden would also receive a no-decision as he would only last five innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on three hits. Chad Gaudin would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit. Jeff Samardzija would get the win as he pitches an inning and a third, giving up no runs on two hits. Carlos Marmol would get his seventh save of the year as he pitches one and two-thirds innings of scoreless ball, giving up no hits while striking out three.
Multiply factors would kill the Phillies today. First, Blanton’s five walks. Four of those walks would lead to the two runs that he would give up, especially the three walks that he would give up in the sixth inning, loading the bases. Although it would be Scott Eyre who would walk home the tying run, it would never have happened if Blanton had been able to throw strikes when he needed to, especially after getting ahead of the hitters. Secondly, the offense. Although they would force Rich Harden to leave the game early by getting him to work long pitch counts, they would be unable to get a key hit when they needed it when they threaten to score in the early innings. Business as usual for the offense. Third, Jimmy Rollins’ blunder in the fifth, when he could’ve taken his time to throw to first for the third out on Daryle Ward’s grounder to Utley, but instead would rush his throw because of Harry Blanco coming at him to break up the double play. Instead of the score staying 2-0 Phils, it became 2-1 Phillies because he would force Ryan Howard off of the bag to keep it from going past him. And lastly, the umpire’s call in the seventh inning on Howard’s grounder to first that would bounce off of Derrick Lee’s glove. According to instant reply, Howard has actually beaten Samardzija to the bag, but first base umpire Chris Guccione would call Howard out. The broadcasters think that this is the result of the same umpire earlier calling Utley safe on the previous play when he might’ve been beaten by the throw. If it is, it really stinks! as it kept the Phillies from retaking the lead. Oh man, how much more of this do we Phillies’ fan have to suffer through before we all go mad? Or when will all of this buzzard luck finally start to go our boys’ way?
The Phillies (73-62) will continue their four games series with the Cubs (85-50, 1st National League Central), now trying for a split in the series. The game will be nationally televised by Fox Sports and will start at 3:55 pm Eastern (2:55 pm Central) in Wrigley Field. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (7-10, 4.49), who is coming off a win against the Dodgers on August 25, as he pitches seven shut out innings, giving up nine scattered hits while striking out eight, in the Phillies’ 5-0 win. He will be trying to pitch his six straight quality start since returning from the minors and improving his record to 5-1 in his last eight starts, while trying to stop the Phillies’ present slide at three games. The Cubs’ starter will be Ted Lilly (13-7, 4.23), who is coming off a win against the Pirates on August 25, as he went seven innings, giving up only three earned run on seven hits while striking out seven, in the Cubs’ 12-3 rout. He will be trying to see if he can continue the Cubs’ seven game winning streak and continue the Phillies’ current losing streak.
With the lost, the Phillies are presently trailing the Mets by two game and lead the Marlins by five games, as the Mets defeated the Marlins. The Phillies will be trying to regroup so that they can come back and split the series before continuing their long road trip.