Thanks to the appearance of Tropical Storn Hannah on the East Coast of the U.S., the Saturday afternoon game between the Phillies (77-64) and the Mets (79-62) has been postponed. Instead, the two contenders for the National League East will be playing a day-night doubleheader in Shea Stadium tomorrow. These will be the final games to be played between these two rivals in Shea Stadium.
The first game of the twinbill will start at 2:15 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be the 45-years old veteran Jamie Moyer (12-7, 3.80), who is coming off a win against the Cubs on August 31, where he went five and a third innings, giving up only two earned runs on eight hits (all singles), in the Phillies’ 5-3 win. Moyer has given up three runs or less in fifteen of his last sixteen starts, and plans to make it sixteen in his last seventeen, while planning to improve on his 1-1, 4.40 ERA in five starts record against the Mets. Moyer will be trying for his team leading thirtenth victory while hoping to shut down the Mets’ bats, redeeming himself for being roughed up by the Mets on August 26, only going three innings as he gave up six earned runs on nine hits, in the Phillies’ 8-7 dramatic, come from behind, extra-innings win. The Mets will be sending to the mound Pedro Martinez (5-3, 5.07), who is coming off a win against the Marlins on August 31, where he went six innings, giving up two earned runs on seven hits, in the Mets’ 6-2 win. In his last start against the Phillies, also on August 26, Martinez would get a no-decision as he is forced out of the game early, as he goes only five innings, giving up five earned runs on seven hits, in the Mets’ 8-7 extra-innings lost. Martinez is 3-2 against the Phils since joining the Mets in 2005. His will be trying to improve his record while trying to last a bit longer than he did a week ago.
The second game of the doubleheader will be a battle between team aces that will be televised nationally on ESPN. The game will begin at 8:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Cole Hamels (12-8, 3.01), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on September 2, as he went seven and one-third shut out innings, giving up five hits, in the Phillies’ 4-0 win. Hamels has won three of his last four starts, all of them quality starts, while being dominating in the two starts that were shown before a national audience. Like Moyer, he plans to win his thirteenth start, while trying to win his third straight start in the national spotlight. The Mets will counter with Johan Santana (12-7, 2.71), who is coming off a no-decision against the Brewers on September 1, as he went six innings, giving up two earned runs on seven hits, in the Mets’ 4-2 win. In his last start against the Phillies on August 27 he, like Martinez, would leave the game early, receiving a no-decision as he went only six innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits, in the Mets’ 6-3 come from behind win. His record against the Phillies in four previous starts is 1-0 with three no-decisions. He will be trying for his second win against the Phillies while trying to keep the Phillies’ offense quiet.
The Phillies’ batters will once again try to remain patient against both Martinez and Santana, forcing them into enough deep counts so that both men will have to leave their games early and will then try to dismantle the Mets’ bullpen. At the same time, the Phillies’ starters will try to pitch long enough into the game so that they will give the bullpen a much needed rest, while hoping that the deep end of the pen won’t create another eighth inning fiasco.
The Phillies trail the Mets by two games as they go into the double header tomorrow while they presently lead the Marlins by five games as the fish prepares to meet the Cardinals later tonight. In the wild card race, the Phillies now trail the slumping Brewers by four games, while they are ahead of the Cardinals by two, the Astros by three and the Marlins by five games. The Phillies hope to come back home trailing the Mets by no worst than two games, if not in fact tied for first place, before they face the Marlins for three games and the Brewers for four.
The Phillies’ offense would knock out of the box not one, but two Dodgers’ pitchers, as they would score nine runs, while Cole Hamels would pitch his second straight pitching gem in front of a national audience, as the Phillies defeated the Dodgers, 9-2. After Hamels put down the Dodgers 1-2-3 in the first, the Phillies would take a quick 3-0 lead in their half of the inning as Pat Burrell would hit a three-run home run off of Dodgers’ starter, Clayton Kershaw, his thirtieth home run of the year, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who has been hit by the pitch, and Chase Utley, who has gotten on base with a single. The Dodgers would cut the lead down to 3-2 in the third when Russell Martin would hit a two-run home run, his twelfth home run of the year, scoring James Loney, who has earlier doubled. The Phillies would add to their lead in the fifth inning. Rollins would start the inning off with a single. Utley would follow with a walk, sending Rollins to second. Burrell would then hit a fly ball to center that should have been the inning’s first out. Instead, it would end up being a double as center fielder Matt Kemp would somehow lose sight of the ball, which would then drop in behind him for a hit. Rollins would score to make it 4-2 Phillies, while Utley would go on to third base. Ryan Howard would then follow with a two-run double of his own, scoring both Utley and Burrell, to give the Phillies a 6-2 lead, and knocking out Kershaw, who would be replaced by Jason Johnson, who would finally end the Phillies’ threat. The Phillies would then break the game open in the sixth, as Hamels would start the inning off by being hit by the pitch. After a Rollins’ ground out, second to first, sends Hamels over to second, Utley would send him home with a RBI single, making it 7-1 Phillies. Burrell would follow with a single, sending Utley to second. Burrell’s hit would knock out Johnson, who would be replaced on the mound with Joe Beimel. Howard would greet him with a walk, loading up the bases. Victorino would then follow him with a two-run single, scoring both Utley and Burrell and sending Howard to third, giving the Phils a 9-2 lead. Beimel would finally end the inning by striking out both Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz. That would be how the ball game would end as Hamels, Scott Eyre and Rudy Seanez would together put down the last nine Dodgers’ batters with ease.
Cole Hamels would get the win as he pitched his second straight gem in front of a national audience, as he pitches seven strong innings, giving up only two earned runs on five hits, while striking out five. His record is now 11-8 as his ERA drops to 3.20. Scott Eyre and Rudy Seanez would each pitch a scoreless inning, with neither man giving up a hit. Clayton Kershaw would get the lost, as he lasts only four innings plus four batters, giving up six earned runs on seven hits while striking out five and hitting a batter. His record is now 2-4 with a 4.11 ERA. Jason Johnson would pitch an inning and a third in relief, giving up three earned runs on two hits and also hitting a batter. Joe Beimel would pitch one and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief, giving up a hit. Ramon Troncoso would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits.
For the second straight game, the Phillies’ offense would score more than three runs in a game, while also getting ten hits for their second straight game. And they would also knock out an opposing starter for their second straight game, as well as a reliver for good measure, in their nine runs eruption. Every starter would get at least a hit, except for Chris Coste, who took the collar. Pat Burrell would lead the attack with three hits, while also driving in five runs, tying his career high, followed by Chase Utley with two. And they did it in part via situational hitting and smart baserunning. Although it would appear that the offense is back, I won’t believe it is until I see what they do against the Mets this coming week.
The Phillies (70-59) will continue their four games series with the Dodgers (65-64, 2nd National League West) tomorrow night, with their second straight nationally televised game, this time to be shown on ESPN. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 8:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (6-12 (1-0), 4.87), who is coming off his second straight so-so outing, this one against the Nationals on August 19, as he would go five innings, giving up four earned runs on four hits, in the Phillies’ 5-4 win. He has pitched against the Dodgers the previous week, on August 13, in his previous so-so outing, only going five innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits while striking out six, in the Phillies’ 7-6 lost. He will be trying to get back to the way he was pitching before his two starts slide, while hoping that the offense will continue its present attack. The Dodgers will be sending to the mound Hiroki Kuroda (7-9, 3.97), who is coming off a lost to the Rockies on August 19, where he went six innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits, in the Dodgers’ 8-3 lost. He has faced the Phillies once already this year, a victory on August 14, where he went seven innings, giving up only one earned run on two hits, in the Dodgers’ 3-1 win. He will be trying to stop the Phillies’ offense while trying to improve his record.
The Phillies are once again trailing the Mets by a game and a half, as the Mets have lost to the Astros. They are ahead of the Marlins by four and a half games, as the D-backs beat the fish. The Phillies will try to see if they can sweep the Dodgers in front of a national audience while hoping to get even closer to the Mets before their two games series next week.
The Phillies (65-58) will play the final game of their three games series with the Padres (48-75, 5th National League West) tonight. The game, being shown nationally on ESPN, will be played at PETCO Park and will start at 8:05 pm Eastern (5:05 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be Cole Hamels (9-8, 3.32), who is coming off a no-decision against the Dodgers on August 12, where he would pitch seven innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 4-3 lost. Hamels, as he plans to show his best stuff before a nation-wide audience, will for his eighth straight start be trying for his tenth win of the year, hoping that he will finally get it done this time. The Padres will counter with Cha Seung Baek (4-7, 5.20), who is coming off a lost to the Brewers on August 12, as he pitched six innings, giving up five earned runs on seven hits, in the Padres’ 5-2 lost. He will be trying to improve his record at the Phillies’ expense.
Cole Hamels will be trying to show his best stuff before a national audience while hoping that the Phillies’ offense will stop embarrassing itself and finally beat up on an opponent, especially when the opponent is a last place team in one of the league’s divisions.
The Phillies at the moment trail the Mets by two and a half games as they have defeated the Pirates for the third straight game. They are ahead of the Marlins by two and a half games, as the Marlins have lost to the Cubs. The Phillies will be shooting for a win so that they can stay close with the Mets before coming home for a nine games home stand, starting on Tuesday night.
The Phils (22-18) continue their three game series with the Braves (19-19) with a night game from Citizens Bank Park that will be televised nationally on ESPN. The game starts at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils’ starter will be Brett Myers (2-3, 5.33), who is coming off a lost to the Diamondbacks on May 8. The D-backs lit up Myers for seven runs, six of which were earned, on nine hits in five innings of work in the Phils’ 8-3 lost. This was after coming off a no-decision against the Giants on May 3 where he gave up only two earned runs on six hits as he pitched seven innings in the Phils’ 3-2 lost. In fact, Myers has lost two of his last four games as well as receiving two no-decisions. He has given up at least four earned runs in three of those games. There is a lot of concern among the Phillies’ faithful about what is wrong with Myers and whether he can get his pitching ability back, while Myers will be looking for a win to even his record at 3-3. Myers’ opponent will be Tom Glavine (0-1, 4.03), the future hall of famer, who is having just as bad a season as Myers. Although he has given up two earned runs or less in all but one of the five games that he’d pitched, he didn’t last the first inning in one game (April 13 against Washington) and lasted only four and two-thirds innings in a second game (May 4 versus Cincinnati), where he got torched for six earned runs, although Atlanta was able to win the game. In the three games that he had lasted at least six innings, the Braves are 0-3, so overall, the Braves’ record with Glavine as the starter is 1-4. Glavine will be looking for his first win of the year, and hoping to get it against the Phils, whom he had given fits over the years.
Edit: Glavine is 28-17 with a 3.68 ERA (HT/Beerleaguer) against the Phils.
The Phils hope to decrease the Marlins’ lead in the National League East with a win tonight, and a Marlins lost in Cincinnati. They are also hoping that the Nationals will defeat the Mets so that they can put a little distance between them and the Mets.