A sacrifice fly by Raul Ibanez in the bottom of the 19th inning, give the Phils a walk-off win as they defeat the Reds in a 19 innings marathon, 5-4, as Wilson Valdez becomes the first position player to win a game since 2000.
The Phils took a quick 2-0 lead in the first as Ben Francisco hits a two-run home run, his sixth home run of the season, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier singled. The Phils then made it a 3-o lead in the second as, with a runner on second, and with nobody out, John Mayberry, Jr. hits an RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier doubled. The Reds got a run back in the fifth as, with one man on, and with one man out, Joey Votto hits an RBI single, knocking in Drew Stubbs, who had earlier singled, then stole second base, cutting the Phils’ lead to 3-1. The Phils tried to make it a 4-1 lead in the sixth as Raul Ibanez led-off the inning with a triple, just missing a home run as it hit the top of the fence. But, he would be left stranded there as Reds’ starter Travis Wood got Ruiz to pop out to Votto in foul territory for the first out, then struck out Mayberry, looking, for the inning’s second out. After Wilson Valdez is intentionally walked to put runners on the corners, Wood gets out of the inning by getting Roy Halladay to ground out, 5-3. That would come back to haunt the Phils, as the Reds would tie the ballgame up at three-all in the seventh as, with the bases loaded, via singles by pinch hitter Miguel Cairo and Stubbs, with Cairo stopping at second base, a sacrifice bunt by Brandon Phillips, sending Cairo to third and Stubbs to second base, and an intentional walk to Votto, and with two men out, Jay Bruce hits a two-run single, scoring Cairo and Stubbs, and sending Votto to second base. The Phils tried to win it in the ninth as they loaded the bases, via a single by Mayberry, who is then moved over to second base by a sac bunt by Valdez, 1-4, an intentional walk by pinch hitter Chase Utley, both runners then moving up a base on a Nick Masset wild pitch, and an intentional walk to Rollins, but would be denied as Masset would get pinch hitter Dom Brown to pop out to the catcher in foul territory for the inning’s second out and then get Placido Polanco to hit into a force out, 6-4, wiping out Rollins at second base, to end the inning, sending the game into extra-innings. The Reds then took a 4-3 lead in the top of the tenth as Bruce hits a lead-off home run, his thirteenth home run of the season. The Phils then tied it up at four-all in their half of the tenth as Ryan Howard hits a lead-off home run, his eleventh home run of the season. The Reds tried to retake the lead in the eleventh as they loaded the bases via Phillips being hit by the pitch, Votto walking, sending Phillips to second base, where he is picked off by J.C. Romero, for the inning’s second out, before Scott Rolen is walked, sending Votto up to second base, and then a walk to Bruce, before David Herndon ended the inning by getting Ramon Hernandez to ground out, 1-3. The score would stay that way until the nineteenth inning, when, as the Phils used up their last position player, Dane Sardinha, as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the eighteenth, they had to reorganize their defense, as they put Sardinha behind the plate, placed Ruiz at third, and moved Polanco over to second base, before sending Valdez to the mound. Valdez started his first inning as a pitcher off by getting Votto to fly out to center for the first out. After hitting Rolen, he then got Bruce to fly out to center, before finally ending the inning by getting Carlos Fisher to pop out to Polanco. The Phils then began their half of the nineteenth with Rollins getting on base with a single. Brown followed with a walk, moving Rollins up to second base. Polanco then followed with a well executed sac bunt, sending Rollins to third, and Brown up to second base. Howard is then given an intentional walk to load up the base with only one out, bringing Ibanez to the plate. With both the Reds infield and outfield drawn in, Ibanez hits a long fly ball to center field which was caught for a sacrifice fly by Stubbs, allowing Rollins to score with the winning run, giving the Phils a 5-4, extra-innings, walk-off win.
Roy Halladay received a no-decision as he pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on eleven hits and a walk, while striking out six. Michael Stutes pitched a scoreless inning, as he gave up a hit, while striking out three. Ryan Madison pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Antonio Bastardo pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out a batter. Kyle Kendrick pitched two-thirds of an inning, hitting a batter, while striking out two. J.C. Romero pitched a third of an inning, walking three batters. David Herndon pitched two and a third scoreless innings, before being sent back to Lehigh Valley to make room for the just activated Jose Contreras. Danys Beaz pitched five scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out three. Wilson Valdez (1-0, 0.00) gets the win as he pitched a scoreless inning, hitting a batter. Travis Wood also received a no-decision, as he went six innings, giving up three runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out two. Jose Arredondo, Bill Bray and Nick Masset combine for three scoreless innings, giving up a hit (Masset) and two walks (Masset), while striking out one (Bray) between them. Francisco Cordero blew his second save opportunity of the year as he pitched two innings, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out two. Logan Ondrusek pitched two 1-2-3 innings, striking out two. Carlos Fisher (0-1, 0.87) took the lost as he piched five and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on four hits and three walks, while striking out four.
The Phils had thirteen hits in the game, with Wilson Valdez leading the team with three hits, two singles and a double. Jimmy Rollins (Singles), Ryan Howard (Single, Home Run, RBI), John Mayberry, Jr. (Singles, RBI) all followed with two hits each. Ben Francisco (Home Run, 2 RBIs), Placido Polanco (Single), Raul Ibanez (Triple, RBI) and Carlos Ruiz (Double), had the other four Phils’ hits during a rather long game.
The Phils (30-19, 1st East) are presently concluding their four-game series with the Reds (26-24, 3rd Central), with a game in progress.
In the first spring training game between the two teams that most people expect to be facing each other in the World Series, the Phils defeat the Red Sox, 2-0.
In the top of the second, the Phils took the lead as Jeff Larish hits a one-out, two-run double, knocking in Ben Francisco, who had earlier got on base with a single, then moved up to second base on a Stolmy Pimentel’s balk, then moved on to third on a John Mayberry, Jr., single, and Mayberry, Jr., who had earlier singled. That would be all the scoring in the game, as Phils’ starter, Cole Hamels, threw four scoreless innings, although running into a bit of trouble in the third as he gave up a lead-off double to Mike Cameron (which turned out to be the only Red Sox’s hit), before moving to third on a 5-3 ground out by Jarrod Saltalamacchia. But, after walking Lars Anderson to put runners on first and third, with one out, Hamel would leave Cameron on third by getting Marco Scutaro to foul out to the cather for the inning’s second out, and then Dustin Pedroia to ground out, 5-3, to end the inning. The next two Phils’ pitchers, Scott Mathieson and Michael Stutes, would both pitch two scoreless innings, as the Red Sox would either hit into first pitch outs, or strikeout looking or swinging on three pitches. The Red Sox would make one last threat in the ninth, with Juan Perez on the mound, as with one out, Michael Martinez would commit a pair of errors, with the first one being a fielding error which allows Oscar Tejeda to reach first base. Then, after Ryan Kalish walks on four pitches, moving Tejeda to second base, Martinez commits his second error of the inning, as he commits a force out error on a Yamaico Navarro grounder, allowing Tejeda to reach third, and Kalish to move up to second base, while Navarro would reach first on the play, loading the bases. But, Perez would then get out of the inning, as he would first get pinch hitter Daniel Nava to foul out to the thrid baseman for the second out, before ending the game by striking out Josh Reddick on three pitches.
Cole Hamels gets the win (1-0, 0.00 ERA) as he pitches four shut out innings, giving up just one hit, while striking out three and walking one. Scott Mathieson and Michael Stutes both followed with two scoreless innings, as they both record a hold, as they combine for four strike outs (two each) while walking only one batter (Mathieson). Juan Perez receive the save as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a walk, while striking out a batter. Stolmy Pimentel took the lost (0-1, 9.00) as he pitches two innings, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk, while striking out one. Dan Wheeler, Andrew Miller, Bobby Jenks, Jason Rice, Rich Hill, Michael Bowden and Blake Maxwell each pitch a scoreless inning, as they combine to give up four hits (Wheeler (2), Miller (1), Jenks (1)) and three walks (Rice (1), Bowden (2)), while combining for six strike outs (Miller (1), Rice (2), Hill (1), Bowden (1), Maxwell (1)). Phils pitching had an easy time, as the BoSox hitters were very aggressive at the plate, hitting into a lot of one pitch outs.
The Phils had seven hits in the game, with Ben Francisco leading the team with two hits, both singles, as he increases his spring training batting average to .375, as he scores one of the two Phils’ runs. Shane Victorino follows with a double, Ross Gload, with a single, John Mayberry, Jr., also with a single, as he scores the other Phil run, Jeff Larish, who hit a two-run double, and Dane Sardinha, who had a single. Dom Brown is still struggling at the plate, as he went 0 for 3, with a walk, as he struck out once.
The Phils, with the win, now have a 3-3 grapefruit league spring training record, as they snap a two-game losing streak.
Four home runs, with two of them by Jayson Werth, help rocket the Phils past the Dodgers, 10-4, to win the 2009 National League Championship Series, 4 games to 1, to become the first National League squad, since the 1995-96 Atlanta Braves, to win back-to-back National League pennants. The Phillies will now try to become the first NL team, since the Big Red Machine of Cincinnati, to win back-to-back World Series (1975-76).
The Dodgers took the early lead in the first as, with two men out, Andre Ethier hits a solo home run, his first home run iof the series, to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. The Phils then struck back in their half of the first as, with two men on base, and with two men out, Jayson Werth hits a three-run bomb into the right field seats, his second home run of the series, knocking in Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, who had both been walked, to give the Phils a 3-1 lead. The Dodgers got a run back in the second as James Loney hits a lead-off home run, his second home run of the series, cutting the Phils’ lead to 3-2. The Phillies would get that run back in their half of the second as Pedro Feliz hits the first pitch into right field for a solo home run of his own, his first of both the series and of the post-season, to give the Phils a 4-2 lead. The Phillies then increased their lead in the fourth as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Raul Ibanez hits an RBI double, knocking in Werth, who had just singled, giving the Phils a 5-2 lead. Five batters later, with the bases loaded, thanks to a Carlos Ruiz walk, then Phils’ starter Cole Hamels moving both Ibanez and Ruiz up a base with a sacrifice bunt, and Jimmy Rollins then being hit by the pitch, and with two men out, Shane Victorino brought in another run as he in turn was hit by the pitch, forcing in Ibanez, making it a 6-2 Phils’ lead, as both Ruiz and Rollins moved up a base. The Dodgers got a run back in the fifth as, with one man out, pinch hitter Orlando Hudson hits a pinch hit solo home run, his first of the series, cutting the Phils’ lead down to 6-3. The Phils then added to their lead in the sixth as, with a runner on base, and with two men out, Victorino hits a two-run shot into left field, his second home run of the series, knocking in Rollins, who had earlier been hit by the pitch for the second straight time, to make it an 8-3 Phils’ lead. The Phils increased their lead in the seventh as, with one man out, Werth hits a solo home run, his second home run of the game, his third home run of the series and his fifth of the post-season, to give the Phils a 9-3 lead. The Dodgers then made one last attempt in the eighth as, with the bases loaded, via singles to Ronnie Belliard and Ethier, who sent Belliard to third with his single, and a walk to Manny Ramirez, and with nobody out, Matt Kemp hits an RBI single, scoring Belliard, and moving both Either and Ramirez up a base, making it a 9-4 Phils’ lead, with the bases still loaded. But the Phils then got out of the inning, as Ryan Madson then got Loney to foul out to the third baseman, then struck out Russell Martin, swinging, then got Casey Blake to hit into a force out, 6-4, wiping out Kemp at second. The Phils then got that run back in their half of the eighth as, with runners on second and third, thanks to a single by Rollins and a ground-rule double, thanks to Fan Interference, by Victorino, and with two men out, with Utley batting, Rollins would score on a wild pitch by Dodgers’ reliever Ronald Belisario, giving the Phils a 10-4 lead, while sending Victorino over to third. The Phils then send out Brad Lidge to end the game. He first struck out pinch hitter Mark Loretta swinging for the first out. He then got Rafael Furcal to foul out to the catcher for the second out. He then got Belliard to fly out to center to end the game, and give the Phils their second straight NL pennant, and the seventh NL pennant in the francishe’s long history.
Cole Hamels received a no-decision as he lasted only four and a third innings, giving up three runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out three. J.A. Happ pitched a third of an inning, giving up a walk. Chad Durbin got the win as he pitched one and a third scoreless innings, as he struck out a batter. His series record is now 1-0 with an 0.00 ERA. Chan Ho Park pitched an inning plus two batters, giving up a run on two hits, as he struck out a batter. Ryan Madson pitched an inning, giving up a hit. Brad Lidge pitched a 1-2-3 ninth. Vicente Padilla took the lost as he lasted four innings plus two batters, giving up six runs on four hits and two walks, as he struck out three. His series record is now 0-1 with a 6.10 ERA. Ramon Troncoso pitched two-thirds of an inning, walking a batter and hitting a batter. George Sherrill pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run, as he hit a batter, as he struck out one. Clayton Kershaw pitched two innings, giving up two runs on a hit, a walk and a hit batter, while he struck out three. Hong-Chih Kuo pitched an inning, giving up a run on one hit, as he struck out three batters. Ronald Belisario pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a wild pitch.
The Phils had eight hits in the game, with Jayson Werth leading the team with three hits, including two home runs, as he knocked in four runs. Shane Victorino followed with two hits, a two-run double and a ground-rule double, knocking in three runs. Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez and Pedro Feliz followed with one hit each, with Ibanez’s hit being an RBI double and Feliz’s hit being a solo home run. The Phils had six extra-base hits in the game, two doubles and four home runs, as the offense, once again, got the hits when they needed them.
The Phillies (4-1) now wait to find out who their American League opponent will be in the 2009 World Series, as the 2009 ALCS between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim continues tonight in Anaheim.
Seven strong innings from Cole Hamels and two shut out innings from Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge would be the difference as the Phillies would hang on to defeat the Rays, 3-2, to take the first game of the World Series. The Phils would jump into the lead in the top of the first, when, with a runner on first and one man out, Chase Utley would hit a two-run home run into the right field seats, scoring Jayson Werth, who has earlier walked, to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. The Phillies would threaten to increase their lead in the second, when, with the bases loaded via a single (Shane Victorino) and two walks (Pedro Feliz and Carlos Ruiz) and with one man out, Victorino would try to score on a shallow fly ball to left center field by Jimmy Rollins that was caught by Rays’ centerfielder B.J. Upton for the inning’s second out. Victornio, who would later admit that he ran home on a miscommunication with third base coach Steve Smith, who was telling him not to go home, would be tagged out at home plate by Rays’ catcher Dioner Navarro for the inning’s final out. In the top of the third, the Phillies would threaten to score again after Werth would reach third base via a lead-off double and a Utley ground out, 4-3, for the inning’s first out. But Rays’ starter Scott Kazmir would get out of the inning by getting first Ryan Howard and then Pat Burrell to strike out swinging. The Rays would then mount a threat of their own in their half of the third as they would load up the bases with only one out via two singles (Ben Zobrist and Akinori Iwamura) and a walk (Jason Bartlett). But Cole Hamels would end the threat by getting Upton to ground into a 5-4-3 double play on a sharp grounder hit to Feliz. The Phillies would finally add another run in the fourth as, with runners on second and third and one man out, Victorino, who has earlier singled, would move to second on Feliz’s single, and who would both move up a base on Chris Coste’s ground out to first, would cross the plate on Ruiz’s ground out, 6-3, giving the Phillies a 3-0 lead. The Rays would finally get on the scoreboard as, with two outs, Carl Crawford would hit a solo home run on a Hamels’ curveball, cutting the Phils’ lead down to 3-1. The Rays would then cut the Phils’ lead down further in the fifth, as, with a runner on second and two men out, Iwamura would hit a RBI double, scoring Bartlett, who has earlier walked and then stole second, to make it a 3-2 Phillies’ lead. Hamels would then end the inning by getting Upton to foul out to Howard, who would make a spectular catch just inside the stands behind the first base foul line. The Rays would try to threaten again in the sixth as Howard would boot Carlos Pena’s ground ball for a fielding error. But, when Pena tried to steal second, he would be picked off by Hamels, who would throw over to Howard, who would then throw to Rollins, would would just barely tag out Pena for the inning’s first out, although the Rays’ bench would claim that Hamels had actually balked, a claim that first base umpire Kerwin Danley would ignore. Hamels would then proceed to strike out Evan Longoria and then get Crawford to ground out, 4-3, to end the inning. The Phillies would make another threat to score an extra run in the seventh, as, with runners on third (Utley (single, stolen base and wild pitch (J.P. Howell)) and first (Burrell (walk), who was then replaced by pinch runner Eric Bruntlett) and two outs, Rays’ reliever Grant Balfour, the second Rays’ reliever for the inning, would end the inning by striking out Victornio. Hamels’ seventh would be an easy eleven-pitch 1-2-3 inning. After the Phillies would go down 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth, Ryan Madson would come out in relief of Hamels and proceed to pitch a 1-2-3 inning of his own. In the Phillies’ ninth, the Phils would make one final attempt to get an insurance run as they would get runners on second (Werth (ground-rule double) and first (Utley (intentional walk)) and one out. But, the Rays would get out of the inning as first Howard would strike out looking and then Bruntlett would pop out to the second baseman. The Phillies would then hand the ball over to Brad Lidge to close it. Lidge would proceed to strike out Pena and Longoria on seven pitches before ending the game by getting Crawford to foul out to Feliz for the final out, recording the save.
Cole Hamels would get the win as he would pitch seven strong innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out five. His record in the series is now 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA and a 4-0 record in the post-season. Ryan Madson would pitch a 1-2-3 inning, striking out one. Brad Lidge would also pitch a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two, as he would record his fifth save in the post-season and his forty-sixth save in forty-six tries. Scott Kazmir would receive the lost as he pitches six innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out four. His series record is 0-1 with an ERA of 4.50. J.P. Howell, Grant Balfour, Trever Miller and Dan Wheeler would combine for three scoreless innings, giving up two hits (Howell and Balfour one hit apiece) and two walks (Howell and Balfour would each give up a walk), while striking out five (Howell and Balfour two each and Miller one).
The Phillies would win last night’s game thanks to the bullpen shutting down the Rays’ offense in the last two innings, while Cole Hamels, Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge would combine to get the last eleven Ray batters out, after Hamels had picked off Carlos Pena trying to steal second in the sixth inning. Speaking of the pick off, Rays’ manager Joe Maddon and the Rays’ bench all thought that Hamels had balked before he threw to first base after Pena had started to run towards second base. The first base umpire, Kerwin Danley, would ignore their argument, but before the start of the Phillies’ seventh, home plate umpire Tim Welke told Maddon that he would look into the matter. Quite frankly, I don’t know what the point of all this is. If it was a balk, Danley should’ve called it right then and there. I just hope this wasn’t an attempt by Maddon to influence things later in the series as it could backfire on his team since the umpires could decide to look closely at the pitchers of both teams when their pitchers throw towards first when there is someone on base who is a basestealing threat. I guess time will tell. Meanwhile, the Phillies offense would once again in the post-season be unable to hit an early knockout blow against their opponent as they would leave eleven men on base, thanks mainly to Ryan Howard being unable to stop chasing junk out of the strike zone. Hey big guy, lay off the junk pitches will you? As long as you keep swinging at them, they’re going to keep throwing them to you. Please follow Charlie Manuel’s advice, just relax at the plate and let the ball come to you. Even if it means hitting into an out, it’ll at least be a lot better than being made to look like a fool with your constant swing and misses at off-speed junk.
The 2008 World Series continues tonight with the series’ second game, being played tonight at Tropicana Field. The game will begin at 8:29 pm Easten time. The Phillies will send to the mound Brett Myers (0-0, -.–), who is coming off his victory over the Dodgers on October 10, where he went five innings, giving up five earned runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out six, in the Phillies’ 8-5 win, thanks in part to his going 3 for 3 at the plate, knocking in three runs and scoring two. His post-season record is 2-0 with a 5.25 ERA, as he pitched twelve innings, giving up seven earned runs on eight hits and seven walks, while striking out ten. During the regular season, his record was 10-13 with a 4.55 ERA, as he pitched in thirty games, giving up 103 runs, 96 of which were earned, on 197 hits and 65 walks, while striking out 163 batters in 190 innings of work. But, he was a better pitcher in the second half, after his return from a minor league reassignment, as he would go 7-4 with two no-decisions. Myers will be pitching his first start on the road during the post-season, and hoping to stake the Phillies to a 2-0 lead in the series, while hoping to avoid a repeat of his last road start back on September 19 against the Marlins where he got bombed for ten earned runs. The Rays will be countering with James Shields (0-0, -.–), who is coming off his second straight bad start in the ALCS against the Red Sox on October 18, as he would last just five and two-third innings, giving up four runs, three of which were earned, on nine hits and three walks, while striking out three, in the Rays’ 4-2 lost. In the post-season, his record is 1-2 in three starts, as he would pitch ninteen and a third innings, giving up nine runs, eight of which were earned, on twenty-one hits and six walks, while striking out thirteen. His regular season record was 14-8 with a 3.56 ERA, as he would pitch in 33 games, going 215 innings, giving up 94 runs, 85 of which were earned, on 208 hits and 40 walks, while striking out 160. Shields will be going out to even the series at a game a piece, while trying to avoid getting hurt for the third straight game in the post-season. The Phillies will once again be trying to be patient with another Rays’ starter who have had even worst recent luck in the post-season than has last night’s starter Kazmir before striking the major blow, while hoping that Myers will be able to do well on the road for at least this game, before heading back home to the friendly confines of Citizens Bank Park and its very loud, screaming fans.