Tagged: Elijah Dukes

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.

Cole Hamels throws a seven innings plus five-hitter at the Nats as the Phillies defeated the Nationals, 4-0.

Cole Hamels threw seven and one third innings of shut out ball, as the Phillies rebound to defeat the Nationals, 4-0. After a scoreless first, and after the Phillies have gone 1-2-3 in the top of the second, the Natonals would threaten to take the lead in their half of the second. After Ronnie Belliard started the inning off with a single, Elijah Dukes would follow with a ground-rule double, sending Belliard to third, and putting runners on second and third with no one out. But the next batter would then lined out into a double play, 8 to 4, doubling up Dukes at second. Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels would then get Alberto Gonzalez to ground out, 4 to 3, to end the inning, with the score still nothing to nothing. The Phillies would then break the tied in the third inning as, with a runner on second and two outs, Jimmy Rollins would hit a RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who was safe at first on a force out and then have gone to second on Hamels’ sacrifice bunt, beating left fielder Willie Harris’ throw to the plate, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while Rollins would go on to second on the throw. Chase Utley would then follow with a RBI single, scoring Rollins, and giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. Jayson Werth would then follow with the third straight single of the inning, sending Utley to third. With the count 1-0 to Ryan Howard, Nationals’ starter John Lannard would throw to first, trying to pick off Werth. On the play, Utley broke for home. Nationals’ first baseman Belliard would then throw home, where the ball is caught by Jesus Flores. Flores is then bowl over by Utley, but held onto the ball as he tags Utley out for the third out of the inning. Flores would then lie on the ground for a while, as him appear to have gotten injured on the play, as his spiked right shoe would not let go of the ground during the collision at the plate. He would eventually be taken off the field in a cart. The Phillies would then add to their lead in the seventh, as the Nats replaced Lannard with Levale Speigner. Pedro Feliz would greet him with a single, followed by a single by Ruiz, which would place Feliz on second base, with no one out. Hamels would then move the runners as he grounded out, third to first, putting runners on second and third with one man out. Rollins would folow with a RBI single, scoring Feliz, making it 3-0 Phillies, and sending Ruiz to third. The Nats then replace Speigner with Mike Hinckley. Utley would greet him by hitting a grounder to second baseman Anderson Hernandez who would throw out Utley for out number two. Belliard would then throw to the Nats’ shortstop Gonzalez, trapping Rollins between first and second. Rollins would stay in the basepath long enough for Ruiz to score the Phils’ fourth run before he is finally tagged out by Hinckley for out number three. In the meantime, Hamels would keep the Nats’ under control, striking out six batters, before an one out single by Hernandez would lead to Hamels being replaced by J.C. Romero. Romero would then proceed to strike out Harris for the inning’s second out. Romero is then taken out and is replaced by Chad Durbin. He would end the inning by getting Ryan Zimmerman to hit into a force out for the inning’s final out. Brad Lidge would then come out to pitch the ninth. After giving up a lead off triple to Lastings Milledge, he would get the next three hitters out to end the game.

Cole Hamels would get the win as he pitches seven and one third shut out innings, giving up only five hits and strking out six batters. His record is now 12-8 with a 3.01 ERA. J.C. Romero and Chad Durbin would each pitch a third of an inning, giving up no hits between them. Brad Lidge would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. John Lannan would take the lost as he pitches six innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits. His record is now 8-13 with a 3.88 ERA. Levale Speigner would pitch a third of an inning, giving up two earned runs on three hits. Mike Hinckley  would pitch one and two-thirds innings, giving up no runs on no hits. Garrett Mock would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits.

Although getting very few hits in the ballgame, the Phillies’ offense would get enough of them to knock in enough runs to win the game. With last night’s game, Hamels would reach two hundred innings’ pitched for the first time in his young career, with more to come before the season is over.  J.C. Romero and Chad Durbin, in the meantime, would come in to help get the Phils through the eighth inning after Hamels is unable to get the second out of the inning.

The Phillies (76-63) will end their three games series with the Nationals (53-86) with a night game. The game will be played at Nationals Park and wil start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Joe Blanton (6-12 (1-0), 4.69), who is coming off another no-decision, this time against the Cubs on August 29, going five and two-thirds innings, giving up only two earned runs on two hits, in the Phillies’ 3-2 lost. Blanton will be trying to get his second win as a Phil while trying to go deeper into the ballgame. The Nationals’ starter will be Odalis Perez (6-10, 4.14), who is coming off a win against the Braves on August 29, as he went six and a third innings, giving up only two earned runs on seven hits, in the Nationals’ 7-3 win. He will be trying to improve his record while also trying to win the seres for the Nats.

The Phillies remain two games behind the Mets as they once again defeated the Brewers, while they stay six games ahead of the now fading Marlins as they lost to the Braves. The Phillies will try to win the present series with the Nationals before heading to New York to face the Mets for the last time this season. 

Ugh, Kyle Kendrick is once again unable to get through the fourth inning as the Phillies lose to the presently hot Nats, 7-4. Will someone PLEASE past me the TUMS?

Kyle Kendrick once again can not get past the fourth inning as he would give up four runs in that inning to a presently red-hot Nationals squad as the Phillies lose once more to Tim Redding, 7-4. The Phillies’ batters, who acted a bit more patiently at the plate than they normally would with Redding, would start the game off by putting two men on base (Jimmy Rollins (Walk) and Chase Utley (Hit by the Pitch)) with one man out in the first inning, before the pair would both move up a base on a Redding’s throwing error, as he tried to pick off Rollins at second. Sadly, that would be as far as they would get as Redding would get out of the inning by striking out Ryan Howard and then getting Jayson Werth to fly out. The same can not be said of Kyle Kendrick, as, with runners on second and third and one out, he would give up a two-run single to Lastings Milledge, scoring Cristian Guzman, who was safe at first on a force out, and Ryan Zimmerman, who has walked, and have both moved up a base on a Kendrick’s wild pitch, to make it 2-0 Nationals. As the Phillies’ batters continue to be patient, thus raising Redding’s pitch count, but be unable to get a hit off of him, Kendrick would continue to have control problems, until finally, in the bottom of the third, he would throw two piches to the inside of Zimmerman, the first Nats’ batter of the inning, which would both almost hit him, especially with the second one, as it would almost hit him in the head. This would cause the home plate umpire to give him a warning that the next man he would throw out would lead to an ejection. That would later hurt Kendrick as he would now no longer throw to the inside of right handed batters. Kendrick would then get hurt in the fourth. He would start the inning off by giving up singles to both Jesus Flores and Emilio Bonifacio, giving the Nationals runners on first and second. Redding would then attempt to bunt the pair over, but Kendrick would throw out Flores at third for the inning’s first out, as Greg Dobbs would beat him to the bag, while Bonifacio would be safe at second as Redding would be safe at first on the force out. Kendrick would then pick off Bonifacio, throwing to third base where he is tagged out by Dobbs for the second out of the inning. Now seeing a chance to get out of the inning, Kendrick would instead get bombed by the next three batters. First, Willie Harris would hit a long, high, fly ball to right that new Phil Matt Stairs would lose sight of for a while so that when the ball finally hit off of the wall, it would bounce over his head, allowing Harris to reach third with a triple as Redding scored to give the Nationals a 3-0 lead. Guzman would then follow with a double, knocking in Harris, to make it 4-0 Nats. Zimmerman would come up next and hit a two-run home run, his tenth home run of the year, scoring Guzman, to make it 6-0 Nationals. The Phillies would finally get to Redding in the sixth, as, with a runner on third and two outs, Howard would hit a RBI double, scoring Shane Victorino, who has hit an infield single, the Phillies’ first hit of the game, would steal second and then go to third on Nationals’ catcher’s Flores’ throwing error, to make it 6-1 Nationals. After walking Werth to put two men on base, Redding would be taken out of the game and replaced by Charlie Manning. Manning would proceed to walk pinch hitter Pedro Feliz to load the bases. Manning is then taken out of the game and is replaced by Marco Estrada. Estrada would then walk pinch hitter Pat Burrell, scoring Howard, to make the score 6-2 Nats. Chris Coste would then get hit by the pitch, forcing in Feliz, to make it 6-3 Nats. Estrada would finally get out of the inning as pinch hitter Carlos Ruiz would ground out, third to first. The Nats would get one of the runs back in the seventh, as, with a runner on second and two men outs, Flores would hit a RBI double, scoring Elijah Dukes, would has earlier reached base with an infield single and would go to second on Rollins’ throwing error, to make it 7-3 Nationals. Then in the ninth, with two men out, Rollins would hit a solo home run, his tenth home run of the year, to make it 7-4 Nats. But, that would be it as Victorino would follow with a grounder to the first baseman for the game’s final out.

Kyle Kendrick would take the lost as he would once more be unable to pitch past the fourth inning, as he goes four innings, giving up six earned runs on eight hits and three walks. His record is now 11-8 with a 5.06 ERA. J.A. Happ would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit while striking out two. Clay Condrey would pitch an inning, giving up an unearned run on two hits, while also striking out two. Rudy Seanez would also pitch an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Tim Redding would get the win, as he would go five and two-thirds innings, giving up three earned runs on two hits. His record is now 10-8 with an ERA of 4.55. Charlie Manning would face only one batter, walking him. Marco Estrada would pitch a third of an inning, walking a batter. Saul Rivera would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Steven Shell would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Jesus Colome would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit while striking out two hitters.

And once again, Kyle Kendrick’s recent fears of getting hit by the opposing batters has done him in, as he once again doesn’t challenge the hitters. It would appear that whatever advice that he has gotten from Greg Maddux several days back has been quickly forgotten. Maybe having Kendrick miss a start and having Rich Dubee and Jamie Moyer both talk to him in the meantime might be in order if he is going to help the team recapture the pennant. Otherwise, the Phillies are in trouble.

The Phillies (75-63) will continue their three games series with the Nationals (53-85) tomorrow night. The game will be played at Nationals Park and will begin at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (11-8, 3.13), who is coming off a no-decision against the Cubs on August 28 as he would pitch seven innings, giving up only one earned run on five hits while striking out six, in the Phillies’ 6-4 lost. Lifetime against the Nats, he is 4-3 with a 2.25 ERA in eleven starts. He will be trying for his third straight win and his fourth straight quality start while trying to stop the Nats’ present winning streak at seven. The Nationals’ starter will be John Lannan (8-12, 3.92), who is coming off a win against the Dodgers on August 28, where he went six innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits, in the Nationals’ 11-2 win. He will be trying to improve his record while continuing the Nationals’ winning streak.

With the lost, the Phillies now trail the Mets by two games as they came from behind to defeat the Brewers. The Phllies are ahead of the Marlins by five games as they defeated the Braves. The Phillies will be trying to recover from this afternoon’s lost and try to stop the Nationals’ attempt to be a spolier.

Pitching, a little small ball win game as the Phils’ bats continue to stay silent.

For the second straight game, the Phillies were involved in a shut out. Only this time, they were the ones to come out on top, but just barely, as they defeated the Nationals 1-0. Cole Hamels would pitch seven strong innings, as he gives up no runs to the Nats, on four hits, while striking out eleven batters. Hamels has now pitched nineteen straight scoreless innings, going back to the last three innings of his May 9 start against the Giants. The Phils’ offense has been kept from scoring for just as many innings, not scoring a run for seventeen and two-thirds innings, as it continues, until the top of the ninth, to leave men on base, in this case nine runners, with four of them in scoring position, in the first eight innings, as Tom Bergmann and Saul Rivera would both find ways to keep them from scoring. The Phillies would finally get a run across in the ninth inning, when, with the Nats’ closer Jon Rauch pitching, Pedro Feliz would start the inning off with a double. After Eric Bruntlett comes in to pinch run for Feliz, Carlos Ruiz would sacrifice him over to third, putting the winning run on third base with one out. Greg Dobbs would then come out to pitch hit for Tom Gordon, who has kept the Nationals from scoring in their half of the eighth, keeping the game scoreless. With the count 2-0, Dobbs would hit a blooping single to center field, scoring Bruntlett and giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead. After Jimmy Rollins flies out, Shane Victorino would hit a double to center field. But, Dobbs would be tagged out at home plate, thanks to a strong throw from Lastings Milledge to shortstop Cristian Guzman to catcher Jesus Flores, who would block the plate, thus keeping Dobbs from scoring. This would keep the score 1-0 Phils. Brad Lidge would pitch the bottom of the ninth in relief of Gordon. After striking out the first two batters he faced, he would walk Elijah Dukes with the count full. Dukes would then proceed to steal second and third, before Lidge would walk pitch hitter Rob Mackowiak, also on a full count, giving the Nationals runners on the corners, with the winning run on first. Then on the first pitch to Felipe Lopez, Lopez would hit a grounder to Chase Utley. Utley would bobble the ball before finally throwing out a slow moving Lopez to end the game and preserve the victory for the Phillies as Lidge records his eleventh save in as many tries.

Cole Hamels, with his seven innings of shut out ball, would get a no-decision while dropping his ERA to 2.61. Tom Gordon, pitching an inning of relief, would get the win as he gives up no runs on one hit. His record is now 4-2, with an ERA of 4.26. Brad Lidge records his eleventh save of the year as he goes one full innings, giving up no runs on no hits, striking out two while also walking two. Tom Bergmann would also get a no-decision as he pitches seven innings, giving up no runs while scattering five hits. Saul Rivera would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Jon Rauch would take the lost, giving up an earned run on three hits. His record is now 2-1, with a 2.78 ERA.

The Phils’ offense, expected to be the best run producer in the National League this year, is scoring less runs than expected, while the batters have suddenly stopped getting the key hit. Maybe having the offense play some small ball for a few games might be what the doctor ordered, else the starters will soon find themselves in for a lot of long games without offensive support. And, considering how some of them are pitching right now (I’m talking to you Myers and Eaton), that might end up meaning a bullpen weaken from overwork by September.

The Phillies (25-22) will conclude their trip to the nation’s capitol with a night game tonight from Nationals Park. The game will start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phils’ starter will be Jamie Moyer (3-3, 4.89), who is coming off of a good outing against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 16, where he went six and two-thirds innings, giving up only three earned runs on seven hits, in the Phils’ 10-3 victory. He hopes to improve his record while trying to help the Phils win the series as he pitches in the 46th ballpark in his 22 years career. The Nationals (20-27) will counter with Matt Chico (0-5, 6.07), who they are using in place of Shawn Hill, who has an ailing right elbow. Chico is coming out of the bullpen, where he was demoted after losing five of his six starts earlier this season. Coming out of the bullpen, he would appear in three games, where he would pitch six and one third innings, giving up just one earned run on six hits, as his ERA drops from 6.87 to 6.07. He hopes to win his first start of the year while adding to the Phils’ offensive problems, while the Phils hopes to final break out the bats and start scoring runs.

The Phils’ victory keeps them a game of a half behind the Florida Marlins, who won their game against the Diamondbacks, 3-2. The Phils are technically still tied for second place, but now they are a .001 percentage point behind the Atlanta Braves, who have swept a double header from the New York Mets, by scores of 6-1 and 6-2. The losts put the Mets in fourth place, a game behind both the Phils and the Braves. The Phils hopes to get a win tonight, to keep pace with both the Marlins and the Braves and stay ahead of the Mets in the tight National League East.