Tagged: Fielder's Choice

Lee comes to his new home and thrills the fans with a quality start as the Phils defeat the Rockies, 3-1.

Cliff Lee comes to the Bank and thrill his new fans with a seven inning quality start, as the Phils defeat the Rockies, 3-1. They now hold a seven games lead in the NL East over a Marlins team that had just been swept by the lowly Nats for three games this weekend.

The Rockies took a quick lead in the first as, with runners on the corners, and nobody out, Todd Helton hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Dexter Fowler, who lead-off the game with a double and then went to third on Seth Smith’s single, giving the Rockies a 1-0 lead. The Phils tied it up at one-all in their half of the first as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Chase Utley hits a sacrifice fly of his own, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier doubled, and had gone to third on Shane Victorino’s ground out, 4-3. The game then turned into a pitchers’ duel between Phils’ starter Cliff Lee, who would give up another three hits for a total of five in the first five innings, but would otherwise keep the Rockies off the scoreboard, while the Rockies’ starter Aaron Cook would give up four more hits for a total of five after four innings. The Phils would then take the lead in the fifth as Paul Bako hits a lead-off home run, his first home run of the year, giving the Phils a 2-1 lead. The Phils would then increase their lead three batters later as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Victorino hits a chopper to Rockies’ second baseman Clint Barmes, with Rollins, who had just tripled, running for home on the crack of the bat. Rollins would be safe at home plate, making it a 3-1 Phils’ lead, as Barmes made a wide throw that went past the catcher for a fielder’s choice, allowing Victorino to be safe at first base. That would be all the run support that Lee would need, as he kept the Rockies quiet for the next two innings, as he gave up only one more hit, before handing it over to the bullpen, which threw two scoreless innings, as Brad Lidge nailed down his twenty-first save of the year in the ninth.

Cliff Lee got the win, his second as a Phil since the trade, as he went seven innings, giving up only a run on six hits and a walk, while he struck out nine. His record is now 9-9 (2-0) with a ERA of 2.95 (1.13). Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless inning as he recorded his seventeenth hold, giving up just a hit, while striking out one. Brad Lidge recorded his twenty-first save of the year as he pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up one hit, as he struck out two. Aaron Cook took the lost as he pitched five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits. His record is now 10-4 with a 3.93 ERA. Matt Daley pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two batters. Franklin Morales pitched two scoreless innings, giving up a walk, while striking out a batter.

The Phillies had only seven hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins leading the way with three hits, just being a home run short of hitting for the cycle, as he scored two of the three Phils’ runs, while he raised his batting average up to .245, as he continued to be hot since the start of July. Paul Bako is next with two hits, including his game-winning solo home run, knocking in a run. Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez had the other two Phillies’ hits, both singles. Utley knocked in one of the other two Phils’ RBIs with a sac fly, while Shane Victorino knocked in the other one with a fielder’s choice ground ball. Although having few hits, the Phils were able to score the runs they needed, especially as Ryan Howard seems to be in a bit of a slump. Once Howard gets back to hitting the ball and laying off the junk, cutting down on the strikeouts, he’ll be able to carry the team once more on his back.

The Phillies (61-45, 1st) continue their home stand with a three-games series with the Marlins (55-53, 2nd 7 games behind), who had just been swept by the Nationals. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park, and will start at 7:35 pm, after the late Harry Kalas is inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame. The Phils’ starter will be Joe Blanton (7-5, 4.02), who had pitched well in a losing effort against the Giants on August 1, as he went seven innings, giving up two runs on seven hits, as he struck out five, in the Phils’ 2-0 lost. He will be going for his eighth win of the year while trying to start the series off on a positive note. The Marlins will counter with Ricky Nolasco (7-7, 5.00), who is coming off a no-decision against the Cubs on August 2, as he went seven innings, giving up only a run on four hits and a walk, as he struck out eight, in the Marlins’ 3-2 win. He will be trying to end the fish present three games losing streak. The Phils will be trying to put even more distance between themselves and the rest of the NL East this weekend.   

Cole Hamels dominate as the Phils win another series on the road as they defeat the D-backs, 4-3.

Cole Hamels appears to have returned to his dominate form as he four hits the D-backs as the Phils’ offense score enough runs to defeat the Diamondbacks, 4-3.

The D-backs took the lead in the first as, with one man out, Ryan Roberts hits a solo home run, his second home run of the season, as the D-backs took a 1-0 lead. The Phils would tie it up at one-all in the third as, with two men out, Shane Victorino hits a solo home run of his own, his eighth home run of the year. The Phils took the lead in the fifth as, with two men on, and one man out, Victorino hits a ground-rule double, knocking in Hamels, who had earlier doubled, and gone to third on D-back shortstop Stephen Drew’s fielding error of a Jimmy Rollins ground ball, giving the Phils a 2-1 lead, while Rollins, who was earlier safe on an error, moved up to third. The Phils would then take a 3-1 lead as Chase Utley hits a fielder’s choice ground ball to D-back’s first baseman Chad Tracy, who threw the ball away while trying to get Rollins out at home plate, allowing Rollins to score and Victorino to reach third, while Utley was safe at first. The Phils made it 4-1 in the seventh as, with the bases loaded, via a single to Victorino, Utley being hit by the pitch, moving Victorino up to second, a double steal to third and second by Victorino and Utley, and a walk to Raul Ibanez, and one man out, Jayson Werth hit into a force out, 6-4, forcing out Ibanez at second for the inning’s second out, as Victorino scored and Utley moved up to third. Meantime, Hamels would dominate the D-backs, giving up only three more hits, as he struck out nine D-backs, in eight strong innings of work. The D-backs cut it close in the ninth as, with a man on, and nobody out, Mark Reynolds hits a two-run home run, knocking in Justin Upton, who had earlier walked, and then stole second, making it 4-3 Phils. But that would be it as Brad Lidge would buckle down, and get out the next three batters for his twentieth save of the season.

Hamels got the win as he pitched eight quality innings, giving up just one run on four hits, while striking out nine. His record is now 7-5 with an ERA of 4.42. Brad Lidge recorded his twentieth save as he pitched one inning, giving up two runs on a hit and a walk. Dan Haren received the lost as he pitched five innings, giving up three runs, two of which were earned, on four hits and three walks, as he struck out five, His record is now 10-6 with a 2.19 ERA. Clay Zavada pitched a scoreless inning, only giving up a walk. Scott Schoeneweis pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on one hit and a walk, as he struck out a batter. Juan Gutierrez pitched one and two-thirds scoreless innings, striking out two. Chad Qualls pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two walks, while striking out one.

 The Phils had only seven hits in the game, with Shane Victornio having three hits, as he was a triple short of hitting the cycle, as he raised his batting average to .319, knocking in two runs. Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels had the other four Phils’ hits, with Hamels’ hit being a double. Jayson Werth knocked in the other Phils’ run with a force out. The Phils have won another road series, as their lead in the NL East stay at seven games as the Marlins defeat the Braves.

The Phillies (58-40, 1st National League East) will conclude their three-games series with the D-backs (43-58, 4th National League West) with a night game. The game will be play at Chase Field and will start at 9:40 pm Eastern (6:40 pm Mountain). The Phils’s starter will be J.A. Happ (7-1, 2.97), who is coming off his first career lost against the Cardinals on July 24, as he went six innings, giving up five runs on ten hits, as he struck out six, in the Phils’ 8-1 lost. He will be trying to get back on the horse while trying to help the Phils sweep the D-backs. The D-backs will counter with Yusmeiro Petit (0-5, 7.68), who is coming off a lost against the Pirates on July 24, as he pitched four and a third innings, giving up six runs on nine hits and a walk, while he struck out six. He will be trying to help the D-backs avoid a sweep. The Phils will be trying to end the series in Phoenix with a sweep before heading on to San Francisco for four games with the Giants.

Happ wins his seventh game as the Phils increased their lead over the Marlins to seven games as the Phils win a shutout, 5-0.

J.A. Happ once again pitch seven strong innings, as he and the bullpen shut down the fish once again as the Phils defeat the Marlins, 5-0. The win increase the Phils lead to seven games in the NL East, while they increase their winning streak to a season high eight games.

The game would start with a very wild first inning. Jimmy Rollins lead off the game with a triple. But, with Shane Victorino batting, and with the infield back, except at third base, Rollins made a mistake by running towards home on Victorino’s grounder, as the ball went to the Marlins’ third baseman Emilio Bonifacio, who then threw home, where Rollins is tagged out by the catcher for the first out of the inning, 5-2, while Victorino would be safe at first on the fielder’s choice. Victorino would then go to second on Braves’ starter Andrew Miller’s throwing error on a pick-off attempt. After Chase Utley flied out to center for the inning’s second out, first Raul Ibanez and then Jayson Werth walked, loading the bases, with two men out. But Pedro Feliz would end the inning by hitting into a force out, 6-5, rubbing out Werth at second base. The Marlins, after dodging the bullet, tried to take the lead in their half of the first. Bonifacio lead off the inning with a double. Jeremy Hermida was then hit by the pitch, putting two men on, with nobody out. Hanley Ramirez then flied out to center for the inning’s first out, as Bonifacio tagged up and moved to third base, putting runners on the corners. Jorge Cantu then flied out to short right field for the second out of the inning, with Bonifacio deciding not to test Werth’s arm. The next batter, Dan Uggla, then ended the inning by grounding out, 6-3, for the final out, leaving it a 0-0 game. The Phils then took the lead in the second, as, with the bases loaded via an infield single to Phils’ starter J.A. Happ, a single to Rollins and an infield single to Victorino, and two men out, Utley is hit by the pitch, forcing in Happ, and giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, as both Rollins and Victorino moved up a base. The next batter, Ibanez, followed with a two-run double, knocking in both Rollins and Victorino, making it a 3-0 Phils lead, while sending Utley to third. The Phils would increase their lead in the third as, with a runner on second, and two men out, Rollins hits an RBI double, knocking in Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier walked, and had moved up to second on Happ’s sacrifice bunt, making it a 4-0 Phillies’ lead. Happ would then keep the Marlins at bay, before running into trouble in the sixth, as the Marlins loaded up the bases on singles by Cantu and Uggla, and a fielding error by Feliz on a Cody Ross ground ball, with nobody out. But Happ soon got himself out of the inning. First, he got Phillies’ killer Ronny Paulino to pop out to shortstop, 6-unassisted, under the Infield Fly Rule for the first out of the inning. He then struck out Brett Carroll swinging for the second out, and then got pinch hitter Wes Helms to strike out looking to end the threat, keeping it a 4-0 Phils’ lead. The Phils would then add to their lead in the ninth as, with the bases loaded again, via an Utley single, a walk to Ibanez and a walk to Feliz, which would move pinch runner John Mayberry, Junior, up to second base, while Utley went to third, and two men out, Utley would score on a wild pitch that would hit Paulino’s shin guard and go up the third base line, making it a 5-0 Phils’ lead. That would be the final score as Scott Eyre and Brad Lidge would combine for a scoreless ninth inning.

J.A. Happ got the win as he pitched seven shut out innings, giving up five hits and a walk, while striking out four. His record is now 7-0 with an ERA of 2.68. Ryan Madson pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two hits, while striking out one. J.C. Romero pitched a third of an inning, collecting his sixth hold as he got out the only man he would face. Scott Eyre and Brad Lidge would combine for one scoreless inning, giving up only one hit (Eyre). Andrew Miller took the lost as he pitched just two and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs on six hits and three walks. His record is now 3-5 with a 4.81 ERA. Brian Sanches, Burke Badenhop, Luis Ayala and Renyel Pinto would combine for five and a third scoreless innings of relief, giving up only one hit (Sanches) and two walks (Badenhop, Pinto), while striking out seven (Sanches (3), Badenhop (3), Ayala (1)). Dan Meyer pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on a hit and a walk. Brendan Donnelly pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two walks and a wild pitch.

The Phils had eight hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins leading the way with three hits, a single, a double and a triple, just one hit shy of hitting the cycle, while knocking in a run as he raised his batting average up to .236. Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez, Jayson Werth and J.A. Happ had the other five hits, with Ibanez’s hit being a two-run double. Besides Ibanez’s two RBIs and Rollins’ one RBI, Utley knocked in the Phils’ other RBI. The offense seems to be doing everything right now, while starting pitching, outside of the team’s ace Cole Hamels, seems to be now throwing quality starts, thus giving the bullpen some much needed rest, as the trading deadline draws near.

The Phillies (51-38, 1st National League East) start a three-games home stand with the Cubs (47-43, 2nd National League Central). The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin tonight at 7:05 pm. The Phils’ starter will be Rodrigo Lopez (1-0, 3.18), who is coming off a no-decision against the Reds on July 8, as he left the game because of injuries, as he gave up two runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out four, in five innings of work, in the Phils’ 3-2 win. He will be going for his second win of the season since returning to the majors. The Cubbies will counter with Ted Lilly (9-6, 3.18), who is coming off a win against the Cardinals on July 11, when he went eight strong innings, giving up a run on four hits and a walk, while striking out four, in the Cubs’ 5-2 win. He will be trying for his tenth win of the season. The Phils will be trying to show that they can continue their present winning ways at home, while improving their record against Central Division teams.

The Phils are unable to support Joe Blanton’s stellar performance before being blown away in the 8th inning, as they lose to the Rays, 7-1.

The Phils’ bat waste a good effort by Joe Blanton, before watching the Rays bust the game wide open in the eighth inning, losing 7-1. The lost means that the Phils have now participated in another losing season of Interleague Play. GGGRRRR!!!!!

The Rays took the lead in the second as, with one man on, and one man out, Pat Burrell hits a two-run home run, his second home run of the season, scoring Carlos Pena, who had earlier singled, making it 2-0 Rays. The game would then become a pitchers’ duel between Phils’ starter Joe Blanton, who would end up giving up only six hits and two walks, as he struck out ten Rays in seven plus innings of work, and Rays’ starter Matt Garza, who was one hitting the Phils, striking out six batters (seven overall) by the seventh inning. In the seventh, the Phils cut the Rays lead to 2-1 as, with one man out, Jayson Werth hits a solo home run, his thirteenth home run of the season. The Rays would then break the game wide open in the bottom of the eighth inning. With the bases loaded, and two men out, Burrell hits a ball to Phils’ shortstop Jimmy Rollins which should had ended the inning, if he had thrown it over to first for the sure out. Instead, he threw over to second base, where it was beaten out by Ben Zobrist, who had earlier walked, allowing Carl Crawford, who had earlier singled, moved on to second when Pena was hit by the pitch, and then moved over to third on Zobrist’s walk, to score, while Pena, who had been hit by the pitch, and had moved up to second on Zobrist’s walk, to move to third, as the Rays increaded their lead to 3-1, as the bases remained loaded. The Rays would then make it a 5-1 game as Jason Bartlett hits a two-run single, knocking in both Pena and Zobrist, while sending Burrell, who had been safe at first on the fielder’s choice ground ball, to third base, putting runners on the corners. Gabe Gross then followed with a two-run double, scoring both Burrell and Bartlett, making it a 7-1 Rays’ lead. That would be the final score as the Phils went down in the ninth.

Joe Blanton took the lost in spite of pitching a very good game, as he went seven innings plus one batter, giving up only two runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out ten. His record is now 4-4, with an ERA of 5.06. J.C. Romero pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up three runs on one hit, a walk and a hit batter. Chan Ho Park pitched a third of an inning in relief, giving up a run on two hits. Matt Garza got the win as he pitched eight strong innings, giving up only a run on three hits, three walks and a hit batter, as he struck out seven. His record is now 5-5 with a 3.61 ERA. Randy Choate pitched a scoreless inning, giving up only a hit and a walk.

The Phils had only four hits in the game, with Jayson Werth leading the team with two hits, including a solo home run, accounting for the Phils only run, and one hit each by Matt Stairs and Greg Dobbs. The Phils’ batters were kept off-balanced for most of last night by Garza as they fail to support a good effort by Blanton,

The Phillies (37-32, 1st National League East) will conclude their interleague game series with the Rays (38-35, 4th American League East) tonight. The game will start at 7:08 pm Eastern and will be played at Tropicana Field. The Phils’ starter will be Rookie Antonio Bastardo (2-2, 5.21), who is coming off a lost against the Orioles on June 19, where he went seven innings, giving up four runs on five hits, as he struck out five, in the Phils’ 7-2 lost. He will be trying for his third win of the season, while trying to give the Phils the chance to win another road series. The Rays will counter with Andy Sonnanstine (5-7, 6.60), who is coming off a lost to the Mets on June 19, where he pitched six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Rays’ 5-3 lost. He will be trying to give the Rays a series win, while trying to improve his record. The Phillies will be trying for another road series win, only their second series win in Interleague Play.

The Phillies come out on top in a slugfest with the Cardinals, take control of first place in the NL East.

The Phillies’ offensive help the team outlast a determined Cardinals’ offense as the Phils defeat the Redbirds, 10-7. The Phils take over control of first place in the National League East as they head to New York City for their first meeting with their rivals, the Mets, in the Mets’ new home of Citi Field.

The Phillies took a quick 1-0 lead in the first, as, with one out, Shane Victorino hits a solo home run, his fourth home run of the season. In the third, the Phillies increased their lead, as, with runners on second and third, and nobody out, Victorino hits an RBI single, scoring Phils’ starter Brett Myers, who had earlier singled, and had gone to third on Jimmy Rollins’ double, and Rollins, who had earlier doubled, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead. Later, with the bases loaded, via a single to Raul Ibanez, which had sent Victorino over to third base, and a walk to Ryan Howard, which would move Ibanez up to second, and still nobody out, the Phils would make it 4-0 Phils as Jayson Werth hits into a sacrifice-double play, which would score Victorino from third base, while Ibanez was thrown out at second base, 8-4, as he midjudged the play, thinking that the ball would fall in for a base hit, instead of being caught by centerfielder Colby Rasmus, for the inning’s second out. A rare baserunning mistake by Ibanez since becoming a Phil. The Cards would get a run back in their half of the third, as, with runners on second and third, and one man out, Joe Thurston hits into an RBI ground out, 6-1, for the inning’s second out, knocking in Tyler Greene, who had earlier doubled, and had gone over to third on Skip Schumaker’s single, making it a 4-1 Phillies’ lead, while sending Schumaker, who had gone up to second base on Victorino’s throw home, as the ball goes past the cut off man, would move on to third. In the fourth, the Cardinals made it 4-2 Phils as Rudy Ludwick hits a lead-off solo home run, his seventh home run of the season. Two batters later, with one man out, Yadier Molina made it a 4-3 Phils’ lead as he hits a solo home run of his own, his third home run of the year. The Phillies then increased their lead in the fifth, as, with runners on the corners, and two men out, Werth hits a three-run home run, his fourth home run of the year, and his second home run of the series, scoring Rollins, who had earlier singled, and had gone on to third on Victorino’s single, who would later be picked off first, trying to steal second base, 1-3, for the inning’s first out, and Howard, who had earlier walked, giving the Phillies a 7-3 lead. The Cardinals got a run back in their half of the fifth, as, with a runner on second, and two men out, Ludwick hits an RBI single, knocking in Thurston, who had earlier doubled, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 7-4. In the sixth, with the bases loaded, via a single to Molina, Rasmus being hit by a pitch, and a single to Cardinals’ starter Adam Wainwright, with one man out, pinch hitter Khalil Greene would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Molina from third, making it a 7-5 Phils’ lead, while sending Rasmus over to third base. In the seventh, the Phillies would make it 8-5 Phils, as, with two men on, and one man out, Howard would hit an RBI single, scoring Victorino, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second after Ibanez was hit by a pitch, while sending Ibanez over to third base. Two batters later, after Werth was hit by a pitch to load the bases, sending Howard up to second base, Pedro Feliz hits an RBI single, scoring Ibanez, giving the Phils a 9-5 lead, while moving both Howard and Werth up a base, leaving the bases loaded. The Cardinals would get a run back, as, with two men on, and two outs, Rasmus hits an RBI double, scoring Chris Duncan, who had earlier walked and had gone on to second on Molina’s walk, making it 9-6 Phils, while sending Molina, who had earlier walked, over to third. In the ninth, the Phils added an insurance run, making it a 10-6 lead, as with a runner on first, and two men out, Feliz hits an RBI double, knocking in Werth, who was earlier safe at first on a fielder’s choice ground ball, as Ibanez, who had earlier hit a ground rule double and had reached third base on Howard’s ground out, 3-1, was cut down at home plate on a ball hit to the pitcher, Brad Thompson, who threw home to the catcher, Molina, who blocked home plate and then tagged out Ibanez, who had taken off on the crack of the bat. The Cardinals make it a 10-7 game in the bottom of the ninth, as Albert Pujols hits a lead-off home run, his tenth home run of the year, and his only hit in the series. But, that would be it, as Brad Lidge would end the game by getting out the next three batters.

Brett Myers would get the win as he pitched five and a third innings, giving up five runs on nine hits and two hit batters, while striking out one. His record is now 2-2 with a 5.35 ERA. Scott Eyre pitched two-thirds of an inning, as he recorded his third hold of the year, giving up no runs or hits. Clay Condrey pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on one hit and two walks, while striking out a batter. Ryan Madson recorded his fourth hold of the season, as he went an inning and a third, giving up no runs. Brad Lidge pitched an inning, giving up a run on one hit, while striking out a batter. Adam Wainwright took the lost, as he pitched six innings, giving up seven runs on nine hits and two walks, while striking out five. His record is now 3-1 with an ERA of 4.08. Denny Reyes pitched a third of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits and a hit batter, while striking out a batter. Chris Perez pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits and hitting a batter. Jason Motte pitched two-thirds of an inning, striking out a batter. Brad Thompson pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits.

The Phillies collected fifteen hits in the game, with Shane Victorino leading the way with four hits, just one hit short of the cycle, as he had two singles, a double and a home run, knocking in three runs, and scoring three, as he raised his batting average to .308. Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez and Pedro Feliz all followed with two hits apiece. Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Miguel Cairo, Carlos Ruiz and Brett Myers got the Phils’ other five hits. Besides the Victorino’s three RBIs, Werth lead the team with four RBIs, Feliz knocked in two runs and Howard knocked in one.

The Phillies (14-10, 1st) continue their four-games road trip with a short two-games series with their main rival in the NL East, the Mets (12-13, 3rd). The first game will be played at the Mets new home, Citi Field, with a start time of 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phils’ starter will be Chan Ho Park (0-1, 8.57), who is coming off an earlier beating at the hands of these same Mets on May 1, where he was only able to pitch four and two-thirds innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits and six walks, while striking out only one batter, in the Phillies’ 7-4 lost. Park is still looking for his first win as a Phil, while folks are wondering how many more chances the Phils will give him before putting him into the bullpen. The Mets will counter with their ace Johan Santana (3-1, 1.10), who is coming off of a no-decision against the Marlins on April 29, as the Mets’ bullpen once again let him down. Santana went seven strong innings, giving up only two runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out seven, in the Mets’ 4-3 lost. He will be looking for his fourth win of the year as he hopes to once again dominate the Phils. The Phillies will be looking to come out of New York with at least a split, before coming home for a three-games set with the Braves.

Howard’s second grand slam of the year help to propel the Phils to a 6-1 win over the Cardinals.

Ryan Howard hits his second grand slam of the season, which placed him in a first place tie with Mike Schmidt for the most career grand slams hit by a Phil with seven each, help propel the Phils to a 6-1 win over the Central Division-leading Cardinals, as Joe Blanton collected his first victory of the 2009 season.

The Cardinals took a quick 1-0 lead in the third, as, with a runner on second, and two outs, Joe Thurston hits an RBI ground rule double, scoring Cardinals’ starter Kyle Lohse, who had earlier reached first base after being hit by the pitch, and had moved on to second on Skip Schumaker’s ground out, 1-3. The Phils took in the lead in the fourth, as, with one man on, and nobody out, Jayson Werth hits a two-run home run, his third home run of the year, knocking in Ryan Howard, who had earlier singled, making it 2-1 Phillies. In the fifth, with the bases loaded, via singles to Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino and Chase Utley being hit by the pitch, and with only one out, Howard drilled a 1-1 slider into right field for a grand slam home run, his fifth home run of the year, his second grand slam of the season, and the seventh of his career, knocking in Rollins, Victorino and Utley, as the Phils took a 6-1 lead. The Cardinals would threathen to get back into the ballgame in the bottom of the sixth, as they loaded up the bases via a walk to Ryan Ludwick, Rick Ankiel being hit by the pitch and Yadier Molina reaching base on a fielder’s choice grounder to Pedro Feliz, who was unable to throw out Ankiel at second base, with only one man out. But Blanton would get out of the jam by first striking out Tyler Greene swinging on a 3-2 fastball for the inning’s second out, and then getting pinch hitter Brian Barden to hit into a 6-4 force out at second base, wiping out Molina. That would be it for the Cardinals as the Phillies’ bullpen would take over and allow only two Cardinals’ batters to reach base during the last three innings. Meanwhile, in the eighth, Ankiel would be taken out of the game, after having make a catch of a fly ball hit by Feliz, as he tripped on his feet and ended up slamming into the outfield wall, head first. He would be driven out of the ballgame, giving a thumbs up to the fans signalling that he was okay. Hopefully, he is, as X-rays and a CT scan taken later has both proven negative.

Joe Blanton took the win, as he pitched six strong innings, giving up a run on four hits, two walks and two hit batters, while striking out three. His record is now 1-2 with an ERA of 6.84. Scott Eyre, Ryan Madson and Chad Durbin then came in to pitch three scoreless innings, giving up only one hit (Eyre) and a hit batter (Durbin). Kyle Lohse took the lost, as he was able to go only four and a third innings, giving up six runs on seven hits, two walks and a hit batter, while he struck out four. His record is now 3-1 with a 3.22 ERA. Trever Miller pitched a third of an inning, giving up no hits, while he struck out a batter. Blaine Boyer pitched a scoreless inning, striking out a batter. Denny Reyes pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit, as he struck out two. Kyle McClellan pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only man he would face. Ryan Franklin and Brad Thompson would each pitch a scoreless inning, with each pitcher striking out a batter.

The Phillies had eight hits in the game, with Jayson Werth and Ryan Howard both leading the team with two hits each. Werth’s hits would be a double and a two-run home run, raising his batting average to .262, while Howard’s hits would be a single and a grand slam home run, raising his average to .293. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz would get the other four Phillies’ hits, all singles. Werth (2) and Howard (4) would collect the Phils six RBIs.

The Phillies (13-10, 2nd National League East) will conclude their two-games series with the Cardinals (17-9, 1st National League Central), in St. Louis. The game will be played tonight at Busch Stadium (III) and will begin at 8:15 pm Eastern (7:15 pm Central). The Phils will send to the mound Brett Myers (1-2, 4.83), who is coming off a lost to the Nationals on April 29, where he went six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out three, in the Phillies’ 4-1 lost. He will be trying to even up his record, while also going for his fourth straight quality start. His opponent will be Adam Wainwright (3-0, 2.76), who is coming off a win against the Braves, also on April 29, as he pitched six innings, giving up just two runs on seven hits and five walks, while striking out two, in the Cardinals’ 5-3 win. He will be going for his fourth win of the year. The Phillies will be trying to leave St. Louis with a series sweep, before going on to New York for their first visit to the new Citi Field. 

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 5: Phillies lose tough one to the Braves as their lead in the East shrinks to a game and a half.

A throwing error by Cole Hamels, the lack of a clutch hit with the bases loaded and a base running error in the sixth would all lead to a hard lose as the Phillies lose a close one to the Braves, 3-2. The Mets’ win against the Cubs cuts the Phils lead in the East down to a game and a half and leaves the magic number for winning the East at four while a Brewers’ win leave the playoff magic number at one.

The Braves took the lead in the first as, with a runner on second and one out, Kelly Johnson would hit a RBI single, scoring Martin Prado, who has earlier singled, giving the Braves a quick 1-0 lead. The Phillies would tie up the game in the second as, with a runner on third and two outs, Pedro Feliz would hit a RBI single, scoring Ryan Howard, who has earlier singled, went to second on Pat Burrell’s walk and would go to third on Shane Victorino’s 4-6-3 double play ball, which wiped out Burrell at second. The Braves would retake the lead in the third as, with runners on first and second and two out, Coel Hamels would have Johnson, who has gotten on base earlier with a single and then would move to second on Omar Infante’s single, picked off as Johnson was trying to steal third. But, Hamels’ throw to Feliz at third would go behind the third baseman and into left field, allowing Johnson to score and make it 2-1 Braves. The Phillies would threaten to even the score in their half of the third as they loaded up the bases with a double (Chase Utley), a throwing error by Johnson (Jayson Werth) and a walk (Howard), with two men out. But Braves’ starter Mike Hampton would end the threat by getting Burrell to pop out to the third baseman. The Braves would increase their lead in the sixth, as, with two outs, Casey Kotchman would hit a solo home run, his fourteenth home run of the year, making it 3-1 Braves. The Phillies would get a run base in their half of the sixth, as, with a runner on third and no one out, Pat Burrell would hit a RBI double, scoring Howard, who has earlier tripled, to make it a 3-2 Braves’ lead. Then Burrell would make a crucial base running blunder as, when Shane Victorino hit a hard ground to Braves’ shortstop Brent Lillibridge, instead of going back to second, as he should’ve done, he would be caught off second and then be run down before finally being tagged out by Johnson, with the play going 6-5-4, with Victorino being safe at first on the fielder’s choice. Later, with Feliz batting, Victorino would try to steal second. He would be thrown out by Braves’ catcher Brian McCann for the inning’s second out as Johnson supplies the tag. Feliz would then end the inning by grounding out, 6-3. The Burrell base running blunder would seems to take the wind out of the Phillies’ sails for the rest of the night as they would be unable to mount another threat as the game ended up being a win for the Braves.

Cole Hamels would take the lost as he pitched seven innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on eight hits, as he struck out seven. His record is now 14-10 with an ERA of 3.09. Scott Eyre, Chad Durbin and J.C. Romero would combine for two scoreless innings, giving up no hits between them, while striking out one (Romero). Mike Hampton would get the win as he pitches six innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits. His record is now even at 3-3 with a 4.88 ERA. Will Ohman and Jeff Bennett would each pitch a scoreless inning, with both man giving up no hits while Bennett would walk a batter. Mike Gonzalez would record his fourteenth save of the year as he pitches a scoreless ninth, giving up no hits as he walked a batter and struck out one.

The Phillies would get done in by the kind of mistakes that they have been avoiding lately, namely a throwing error by Cole Hamels when he had Kelly Johnson dead to rights when Johnson was trying to steal third, being unable to get the clutch hit when they needed it after they had loaded up the bases and Pat Burrell’s base running blunder with no one out. With Hamels’ errant throw, even with his throwing behind Pedro Feliz, if the throw has gone into Feliz’s glove, and Johnson has been safe at third, the Braves would have been turned back as Hamels then struck out Casey Kotchman to end the inning, keeping the game tied at 1-1. This might have been the turning point of the game, as the Phillies, in the later half of the inning, would mount a bases loaded threat that would be turned back because of a pop up into foul territory by Pat Burrell that was caught by Braves’ third baseman Martin Prado. But what really killed the Phillies was Burrell’s later base running blunder in the sixth. With the play in front of him, he should’ve went back to second when Braves’ shortstop Brent Lillibridge caught Shane Victorino’s hard ground ball. Instead, he allowed himself to get trapped between second and third, and then compounded things by not staying in the base paths long enough to allow Victornio to get to second base. An added insult would be Braves’ catcher Brian McCann throwing out Victorino when Victorino tried to steal second. Hopefully the Phillies will be able to bounce back from the lost and win tonight’s game with the Braves.

The Phillies (89-69) will play the final game of their three games home stand with the Braves (70-88) tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (10-12, 4.46), who is coming off his worst outing since his return from the minors, as he lost to the Marlins on September 20, where he only went four innings plus five batters, giving up ten earned runs on nine hits, in the Phillies’ 14-8 lost. Myers should be able to come back from that start, like his did in his previous start against the Brewers on September 14, where he pitched a complete game shut out, after his lost to the Marlins on September 10. The lost makes Myers 7-3 since his return. He will be trying for his eleventh win overall while getting the Phillies a bit closer to the playoff with four games left to play. The Braves will oppose him with Jo-Jo Reyes (3-11, 5.74), who is coming off a recent no-decision against the Mets on September 19, where he only lasted three and a third innings, giving up five earned runs on seven hits, in the Braves’ 9-5 lost. Against the Phillies this year, he has appeared in three games, two of them starts, where his record is 0-2 with a 7.56 ERA, hoping that he won’t get bombed again by the Phillies’ bats as he starts against them.

The lost would cut the Phillies’ lead over the Mets down to a game and a half as the Mets defeated the Cubs. The magic number for the Division crown is still at four. In the Wild Card chase, the Mets’ lead is still a game over the Brewers as they defeated the Pirates, while their lead over the Astros is now four and a half as they lost to the Reds. The Phillies will be trying to recover from last night’s lost, hoping for another good outing from Myers while hoping to once again sting Reyes and send the Braves packing with another lost.