For the second night in a row, a Phillies ninth inning rally falls short as the Phillies, for the second straight night, lose to the Astros, 4-3. The Phillies would score the game’s first run in the top of the first on a RBI double by Ryan Howard, knocking in Shane Victorino, who has earlier reached base on first baseman Lance Berkman’s fielding error. The Astros would take the lead in the bottom of the first, as Phillies’ starter Brett Myers gives up a RBI double to Carlos Lee, knocking in Michael Bourn, who has reached base earlier on a single, and Berkman, who has earlier walked, making it 2-1 Astros. The Phillies would regain the lead in the third, as Howard hits a two run homer off of Astros’ starter Brian Moehler, his fourteenth home run of the year, giving the Phils a 3-2 lead. The Astros would then tie it in the bottom of the fifth, as Lee hits a RBI single to left, scoring Bourn, who has earlier doubled. But, when Berkman tires to score after Pat Burrell’s throw gets away from Chase Utley, he would be thrown out at home plate by Ryan Howard’s throw to Chris Coste, who tags out Berkman for the final out of the inning, keeping the score tied at 3-3. The Astros would then retake the lead in the sixth, as Myers gives up a RBI single to pitch hitter Mark Loretta, scoring Ty Wigginton, who has earlier singled, making it 4-3 Astros. The game would stay that way until the ninth, when the Phillies attempted a late inning rally. With Doug Brocail pitching, Pedro Feliz and Chris Coste would both reach base on singles. After Carlos Ruiz would go in to pinch run for Coste, Brocail would committ a throwing error as he throws the ball into center field as he attempts to pick off Feliz at second, sending Feliz and Ruiz to third and second. Brocail would then get pinch hitter Greg Dobbs to fly out, with neither runner advancing. After intentionally walking Jimmy Rollins, Brocail would face Victorino with the bases loaded. After the count goes to 2-0, Victorino would hit a fly ball to left. Darin Erstad would make the catch for out number two. Erstad would then throw towards home as Feliz attempts to score to tie the game. Erstad’s throw would beat Feliz to the plate, where he is tagged out by catcher Brad Asmus for the final out, preserving the game for the Astros, and giving Brocail his second save of the season.
Brett Myers would take the lost, as he goes six innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits. His record is now 2-6 with a 5.79 ERA. The main question now is what is the matter with Myers as he doesn’t seem to be able to hold leads when they are given to him, or to throw a good pitch at the right moment to get himself out of jams. Chad Durbin would pitch two innings of relief, giving up no runs on two hits. Brian Moehler records the win, as he also goes six innings, giving up three runs, two of which were earned, on four hits. Tim Byrdak would pitch one and two-thirds innings of relief, giving up no runs on one hit. Oscar Villarreal would pitch to only one batter in the eighth, giving up no runs on no hits. Wesley Wright would go one-third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Doug Brocail would pitch the ninth, earning his second save of the year, as he gives up no runs on two hits.
The Phillies (27-24) will conclude their trip to Houston (29-22, 3rd National League Central) with an afternoon game at Minute Maid Park, which is already in progress. The Phillies’ starting pitcher is Cole Hamels (5-3, 2.61). The Astros’ starter is Chris Sampson (3-3, 5.91). The Phils’ hope to get a win today to get a series spilt and head back home to Philadelphia with a winning road trip.
The Phils are now trailing the Marlins by two games, thanks to their lost, as the Marlins were rained out last night. Today they are playing a twinbill with the Giants, with the Marlins presently leading in the first game, 7-6. The Phils are now a game behind the second place Braves, who are presently trailing the Diamondbacks 6-3. They are two games ahead of the Mets, who are tied with the Rockies 0-0.
The Phillies’ offense would come up short in the ninth inning as they lose to the Houston Astros, 4-3, wasting a good effort by Adam Eaton. The Phils would score first, as Pat Burrell hits a solo home run off of Astros’ starter Brandon Backe in the second inning, his twelfth home run of the year. That would be the score until the bottom of the fifth inning, as Eaton and Backe would keep both teams quiet, Backe with his slow curve and Eaton with generally good pitching. But then, in the Astros’ fifth, Eaton would give up a solo shot to Hunter Pence, for his sixth home run of the year, tying the score at one. The Astros would later threathen to take the lead by getting two men on base with one out, but Eaton would get out of the inning by getting Michael Bourn to hit into a 6-4-3 double play. The score would remain tie until the bottom of the seventh, when Pence, leading off the inning, would hit a 3-0 fastball out of the ballpark for his second home run of the night off of Eaton, his seventh home run of the year, to give the Astros a 2-1 lead. The Astros would then increase their lead to 3-1 on a Bourn single, scoring J.R. Towles, who has earlier singled. The Astros would add another run in the eighth when Carlos Lee hit a sacrifice fly off of Ryan Madson, scoring Lance Berkman, who has earlier tripled. The Phillies would try to rally back in the ninth against Astros’ closer Jose Valverde. Burrell would start the rally off with a double to center field. After moving to third on a ground out, Burrell would score on a line drive single by Pedro Feliz off of Valverde’s face, making the score 4-2 Astros. After the Astros’ trainer have taken several minutes to look Valverde over to make sure that he could continue to pitch, Carlos Ruiz would hit a single, moving Feliz to second base. After Eric Bruntlett goes in to pinch run for Ruiz, Valverde would strike out pinch hitter Chris Coste for the second out. Jimmy Rollins would then hit a line drive double, scoring Feliz and sending Bruntlett, who had to dive to get out of the way of Rollins’ line drive, to third, making the score 4-3 Houston. With two men in scoring position and two out, Shane Victorino would come to the plate. After getting the count full, Victorino would hit a fly ball to center field, ending the ballgame, as Valverde is able to nail down his fifteenth save of the year.
Adam Eaton would take the lost, as he pitches seven innings, giving up three earned runs on eight hits. His record drops to 0-3, with a ERA of 5.37. Eaton by now must be wondering what he has to do to actually win a ballgame. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning in relief, giving up an earned run on one hit. Brandon Backe would pick up the win for the Astros, as he would go seven and one-third innings, giving up only one earned run on six hits. Doug Brocail would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits as he snuffs out a Phillies’ rally in the eighth, leaving the bases loaded. Jose Valverde, in spite of being hit in the face by a line drive, would record his fifteenth save of the season as he pitches one inning, giving up two earned runs on four hits.
Despite the lost, the Phillies are still one and a half games behind the Marlins, as the fish loses their game with the Giants. They are still technically tied for second place with the Braves, .002 percentage points behind them, as the Braves were crushed in their game with the Diamondbacks. The Phils and the Braves are still leading the Mets by three games, as the Mets loses their game with the Rockies in extra-innings.
The Phillies (27-23) will continue their four games series with the Astros (28-23, 3rd National League Central) at Minute Maid Park. The game will start tonight at 7:05 pm Eastern (6:05 pm Central). The Phils’ starter will by Brett Myers (2-5, 5.76), who is coming off another lost, as he pitched six innings against the Nationals on May 19, in the Phils’ 4-0 lost, giving up only three runs on eight hits. Myers has lost four of his last five starts, with a no-decision in his other start. He’ll be looking to improve on his last start while trying to improve his record. In his previous start against the Astros, he would go seven innings, giving up only an earned run on five hits, as he picks up the win in the Phils’ 10-2 win. The Astros will send to the mound Brian Moehler (1-1, 4.76), who is coming off a lost to the Chicago Cubs on May 19, where he would pitch five innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits, in the Astros’ 7-2 lost. He will be trying to improve his record in what could be his last start in place of Wandy Rodriguez, who should be coming off the disabled list next week.
The Phils’ offense hopes to continue what they were doing on Wednesday and Thursday nights, where they scored nineteen runs on thirty hits. Although they got ten hits in last night’s game, they were only able to score three runs, thanks mainly to the slow curveballs that were being served up to them by Backe. They hope not to have similar problems with Moehler tonight.