Behind the two-hit pitching of Brett Myers, the Phillies have completed the destruction of the slumping Brewers, getting a share of the lead in the NL Wild Card race while putting themselves a game behind the Mets in the East. The Phillies took a quick 1-0 lead in the first when, with runners on first and third, and no one out, Chase Utley would hit into a 4-6-3 double play, wiping out Jayson Werth at second, who has earlier singled, while scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier doubled and would go to third on Werth’s single. The Phillies would break the game open in the second as, with runners on the corners and two men out, Phillies’ starter Brett Myers would get a RBI single, knocking in Pat Burrell, who has earlier walked, went to second on Shane Victorino’s single and then moved to third on Pedro Feliz’s 6-4-3 double play, wiping out Victorino at second, to increase the Phillies’ lead to 2-0, while sending Chris Coste, who has been intentionally walked to get to Myers, to second. After a wild pitch by Brewers’ starter Jeff Suppan would place Coste and Myers on third and second respectively, Rollins would follow with a two-run single, scoring both Coste and Myers, who would just beat Jason Kendall’s tag at home plate, to give the Phillies a 4-0 lead. The Phillies would add to their lead in the fourth as Burrell lead-off the inning with a solo home run, his thirty-first home run of the year, making it 5-0 Phillies. Six batters later, with the bases loaded via a double (Victorino), a hit batsman (Coste) and an intentional walk (Rollins, after Myers would sacrifice both Victorino and Coste over to third and second respectively), and with two men out, Werth would bring in the Phils’ final run with a walk, forcing in Victorino, giving the Phils a 6-0 lead. That would be it for Suppan as Brewers’ manager Ned Yost would take him out for Tim Dillard, who would end the inning by getting Utley to pop out. Meantime, Myers would breeze along, getting the Brewers out almost with ease, while keeping his pitch count low, allowing only two men on base, via a walk (Craig Counsell, who would later be wiped out on a 6-4-3 double play by Kendall) in the third, and a single (Ray Durham) in the fourth. He would only make one mistake as he would give up a solo home run to Prince Fielder in the seventh on a 3-2 slider, Fielder’s thirtieth home run of the year, with two men out, which would make it a 6-1 Phillies’ lead. But that would be the best that the Brewers would be able to do against Myers as he would get out the next seven batters with ease, pitching a complete game.
Myers would pick up the win as he pitches a complete game, giving up just one earned run on two hits and a walk, while striking out four. His record is now 10-11 with his ERA dropping to 4.05. Jeff Suppan would receive the lost, giving up all six runs, all earned, on eight hits and four walks as he is only able to last three and two-thirds innings. Suppan’s record is now 10-9 with a 4.85 ERA. Tim Dillard, Seth McClung and Todd Coffey would all combine to pitch four and a third innings of shut out ball, giving up just three hits (Dillard (1), Coffey (2)).
The Phillies have done what would’ve been impossible a few weeks earlier. They have beaten the ever dangerous Brewers, putting themselves in a tie with them for first place in the NL Wild Card while placing themselves just a game behind the Mets in the pennant race for the Eastern Division, and doing it with a couple of starters who would both be pitching with only three days rest (Jamie Moyer and Brett Myers), a third who was not pitching as advertised (Joe Blanton), while the team’s ace would be recovering from a beating in his previous start against their main rival in the East (Cole Hamels), while the team’s fifth starter have finally fallen apart in his last start (Kyle Kendrick), forcing the three days rest situations for both Moyer and Myers. Now, with the sweep completed and with the day off, the Phillies’ starting rotation and the bull pen looks to be in a lot stronger position for the final twelve games of the season then they did when Kendrick was getting spanked by the Marlins on September 9. Everything now depends on the offense not reverting back to the old inconsistencies if they want to get into the playoffs as either the NL Eastern Division Champ for the second straight season, or as the NL Wild Card entrance. We will all know the answer on September 28.
The Phillies, with the sweep, are now trailing the Mets by only a game in the East, as the Mets lost to the Braves. The Mets will now start a four games series against the Nationals in Washington. The Phillies now lead the Marlins by five and a half games as the fish defeated the Nationals. The Marlins will now have the day off, before they start a three games series with the Astros in Miami. In the wild card race, the reeling Brewers will also have the day off before they start an important three games series with the Cubs in Chicago, trying to regain their composure after getting swept by the Phillies. The Phillies, along with the Brewers, are now two games ahead of the Astros, who lost last night to the Cubs, as they got caught in the wrong end of a no hitter. They are presently playing the second of the two games with the Cubs that was rained out by Hurricane Ivan, and are presently trailing. The Phillies and Brewers are now four and a half games ahead of the Cardinals after their lost to the Pirates. The redbirds will have the day off today before they face the Reds for three in Cincinnati starting tomorrow. The Phillies have today off before they start a three games series in Atlanta, hoping that they can sweep their third straight series in Atlanta against the Braves.
The second game between the Phillies (80-67) and the Brewers (83-64, 2nd National League Central, 1st NL Wild Card) has been postponed because of rain. Although no make up game has yet been scheduled, since both teams have the day off this upcoming Monday, it’ll more than likely be made up on that date. The next game in the four games series will be played tomorrow afternoon. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 3:55 pm Eastern, and will be shown nationally on Fox Sports. The Phillies’ starter will most likely be their ace Cole Hamels (12-9, 3.12), who is coming off a disastrous start against the Mets on September 7, where he only went five innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits, in the Phils’ 6-3 lost. Lifetime against the Brewers, he is 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA in four starts. He will be trying once again for his thirteenth win, while trying to see if he can keep the slumping Brewers’ bats quiet and put the Brewers into panic mode with a win against them. The Brewers will likely counter with Manny Parra (10-7, 4.03), who is coming off a lost against the Padres on September 7, as he goes five innings, giving up six runs, only one of which was earned, on six hits, in the Brewers’ 10-1 lost. He will be trying to see if he can stop the Brewers present slide while trying to stop the Phillies from getting any closer to them in the wild card race.
Because of the rain out, the Philles are presently still three games behind the Mets, as the Mets, in a rain delay in New York, prepare to play the Braves. The Phillies are ahead of the Marlins by five and a half games as the fish play the Nationals in Miami. In the wild card chase, the Phillies trail the Brewers by three games as they continue their series, while they are still tied with the Astros for second place in the wild card race as they now wait out Hurricane Ivan for the next two days before facing the Cubs on the 14th, while they are both ahead of the Cardinals by a game and a half as they play the Pirates, which is also in a rain delay. The Phillies hope to be able to gain ground in both the East and in the wild card race.
Updates: The rain out will be made up tomorrow as part of a day/night doubleheader. The Mets were also rained out, so the Phillies are still trailing the Mets by three games in the East, as the Mets prepared to face the Braves this afternoon. The Phillies are now ahead of the Marlins by five games as they defeated the Nationals, who they will be playing again tonight. In the wild card chase, as the Phils and Brewers prepare for this afternoon’s game, the Astros have to wait one more day before they can play the Cubs thanks to Hurricane Ivan. The Cardinals are now trailing both the Phillies and the Astros by two games as they lost to the Pirates, whom they will be playing again tonight.
The Phillies, behind the pitching of Jamie Moyer and the bullpen, would gain ground on both the Mets in the East and the Brewers in the Wild Card chase as they defeated the slumping Brew Crew, 6-3. The Phillies would take a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Ryan Howard hit a monster 2-run shot into center field, his forty-third home run of the year, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier singled, and has moved to second on Jayson Werth’s ground out, third to first. The Brewers would cut the Phils’ lead in the third inning as, with two outs, J.J. Hardy hit a solo home run, his twenty-fourth home run of the year, to make it 2-1 Phillies. The Phillies would increase their lead in the fourth, as, with a runner on first and no one out, Howard would hit a RBI double, scoring Chase Utley, who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies a 3-1 lead. Three batters later, with a runner on third, and two out, Pedro Feliz would hit a RBI double, knocking in Howard, who has gone to third on Shane Victorino’s ground out to first for the inning’s second out, making it 4-1 Phillies. The Brewers would shorten the Phillies’ lead again in the sixth as, with a man on third and two outs, a slumping Prince Fielder would hit a two-run home run, scoring Rickie Weeks, who has earlier doubled and has gone to third on Ryan Braun’s deep fly out to center field, to make it a 4-3 Phillies’ lead. The Phils would get a run back in their half of the sixth, as, with a runner on first and one man out, Carlos Ruiz would hit a RBI double, scoring Feliz, who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies a 5-3 lead. The Brew Crew tried to get close in the eighth. With Ryan Madson still pitching in relief of Phils’ starter Jamie Moyer, Weeks would start the inning off with a single. Madson would then get the next two batters, Hardy and Braun, to strike out swinging. Charlie Manuel would then take out Madson and bring in Scott Eyre to face the still dangerous Fielder, since Eyre has his number career-wise. But, on this occassion, Fielder woule be able to work a walk, putting two men on base with the go ahead run coming up to the plate in Corey Hart. Manuel would come back out and replace Eyre with Chad Durbin. Durbin would then, with one pitch, end the inning as Hart hit sharply to Rollins, who would throw over to Utley to force out Fielder at second for the third out. In the Phillies’ eighth, they would tack on one more run as Ruiz would use a sacrifice squeeze to force in Victorino, who has reached base on a single, went to second on relief pitcher Carlos Villanueva’s throwing error on a pickoff attempt, and has gone to third on Feliz’s sacrifice bunt, giving the Phillies a 6-3 lead. That would turn out to be the ballgame as Brad Lidge would come out and shut the door on the Brewers with a 1-2-3 ninth, as he records his thirty-sixth save in as many tries.
Jamie Moyer would get the win, as he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up only three earned runs on four hits. His record is now 14-7, the team’s leader in wins, with a 3.68 ERA. Ryan Madson pitched two scoreless innings, giving up only two hits while striking out two. Scott Eyre would face only one batter, walking him. Chad Durbin would pitch a third of an inning, facing only one batter and retiring him on a force out. Brad Lidge would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth, giving up no hits as he striked out one batter. Ben Sheets would get the lost as he pitches six innings, giving up five earned runs on nine hits. His record is now 13-8 with a 2.97 ERA. Carlos Villanueva would pitch two innings in relief, giving up an unearned run on one hit, while striking out three.
The Phillies’ offense, for once, refused to just score runs early and then just quit, as they would score their final run of the game on a suicide squeeze, a play that they would normally not use. Maybe they have finally decided to do everything that they can to manufacture runs if they can’t normally do so with the bat? I guess we’ll see during their last fifteen games. Jamie Moyer, with three games rest, wasn’t perfect, but he was good enough to keep the slumping, but still very dangerous, bats of the Brew Crew silent during his five and two-thirds innings of work, giving up only four hits, although all four would be for extra-bases (2B (2), HR (2)). The Phillies’ bullpen would then come on to keep the Brewers quiet for the rest of the game, although just barely getting out of the now seemingly dangerous eighth inning by the skin of their teeth.
The Phillies (80-67) continue their four games series with the Brewers (83-64, 2nd National League Central, 1st NL Wild Card) with a night game tonight. It will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be their ace Cole Hamels (12-9, 3.12), who is coming off a disastrous start against the Mets on September 7, where he only went five innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits, in the Phils’ 6-3 lost. Lifetime against the Brew Crew, he is 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA in four starts. He will be trying once again for his thirteenth win, while trying to see if he can keep the slumping Brewers’ bats quiet and put the Brewers into panic mode with a win against them. The Brewers will counter with Manny Parra (10-7, 4.03), who is coming off a lost against the Padres on September 7, as he goes five innings, giving up six runs, only one of which was earned, on six hits, in the Brewers’ 10-1 lost. He will be trying to see if he can stop the Brewers present slide while trying to stop the Phillies from getting any closer them in the wild card race.
With the victory, the Philles are now three games behind the Mets, as the Mets prepare to face the Braves for a three games weekend series. The Phillies are ahead of the Marlins by five and a half games as the fish prepare to meet the Nationals for three games. In the wild card chase, the Phillies trail the Brewers by three games as they continue their series, while they are still tied with the Astros for second place in the wild card as they’d defeated the Pirates, before they go to wait out Hurricane Ivan for the next two days before facing the Cubs on the 14th, while they are both ahead of the Cardinals by a game and a half after losing to the Cubs before they begin a series against the Pirates this weekend. The Phillies hope to be able to gain ground in both the East and in the wild card race.