The Phillies use of the long ball leads to a very easy win, as they defeat the Nationals, 7-1, winning their fifth game in a row, and their first series win at home. During the win, their ace, Cole Hamels, sprained his left ankle trying to field a John Lannan bunt attempt in the fifth inning, thus missing out on getting the win. He expects to make his next start on Monday. We’ll see.
The first two and a half innings of the game involved a pitchers’ duel between Phillies’ ace Cole Hamels and Nationals’ starter John Lannan. That would all change in the bottom of the third, as, with a runner on first, and one man out, Chase Utley hits a two-run home run, his sixth home run of the year, scoring Shane Victorino, who had reached base earlier with a single, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. Four batters later, with two men on, and two men out, Pedro Feliz hits a three-run shot, his second home run of the year, knocking in Jayson Werth, who had earlier reached base on shortstop Alberto Gonzalez’s fielding error, and had moved on to second on Raul Ibanez’s walk, and Ibanez, who had earlier walked, making it a 5-0 Phillies’ lead. In the fifth, with a man on base, and one man out, Hamels moved off the mound to field Lannan’s sacrifice bunt attempt. While trying to field the ball, he rolled over his left ankle, slightly spraining it, as Lannan reached first base safely, credited with a single, while Gonzalez, who had earlier reached base with a single, moved up to second. After being unable to throw off of the mound, an angry Hamels was taken out of the game, with two men on and still only one out, and replaced by Chad Durbin. Durbin then proceeded to get out the next two batters, Ronnie Belliard and Nate Johnson, by fly outs. In the bottom of the inning, the Phils made the score 6-0 as Utley hits a lead-off home run, his seventh home run of the year, and his second home run of the game. In the sixth, the Nationals finally got on the board, as, with one out, Adam Dunn hits a solo home run, his sixth home run of the year. In the eighth, Ibanez made it a 7-1 Phils’ lead as he hits a lead-off home run, his seventh home run of the year. That would end up being the final score as Clay Condrey pitched a scoreless ninth.
Cole Hamels received a no-decision as he was taken out of the game in the fifth inning, after spraining his left ankle while trying to field a bunt attempt. Before that had occurred, he was pitching a superb game, giving up no runs on four hits and two walks, while striking out four, in four and a third innings of work. Chad Durbin got the win as he pitched three and two-thirds strong innings of relief for Hamels, giving up just one run on one hit, as he struck out two. His record is now 1-0 with a 4.97 ERA. Clay Condrey pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just a hit. John Lannan took the lost, as he pitched five innings, giving up six runs, only three of which were earned, on nine hits and a walk, while he struck out three. His record is now 0-3 with a 4.61 ERA. Jason Bergmann pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit, while striking out a batter. Saul Rivera pitched two innings, giving up a run on one hit, while striking out two.
The Phillies had eleven hits in the game, with Chase Utley leading the way with three hits, a single and two home runs, knocking in three runs and scoring twice, as he raised his batting average to .357. Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez and Pedro Feliz then followed with two hits apiece, with one of Ibanez’s hits and one of Feliz’s being home runs. Utley and Ibanez are now among the league leaders in home runs with seven home runs each, tying them with Albert Pujols of the Cardinals, Andre Ethier of the Dodgers and Joey Votto of the Reds. Jimmy Rollins and Chris Coste had the other two Phillies’ hits. Besides Utley’s three RBIs, Feliz had three RBIs and Ibanez one.
The Phillies (11-8, 2nd) conclude their three-games series with the Nationals (4-15, 5th) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park with game time being 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (1-1, 4.91), who is coming off a no-decision against the Marlins on April 24, when he pitched sixth strong innings, giving up only three runs on eight hits and six walks, while striking out five, in the Phillies’ dramatic 7-3 come-from-behind win. He will be trying for his second win of the year and his first start without giving up a home run. He will be opposed by Scott Olsen (0-3, 7.29), who is coming a lost against the Mets, also on April 24, in which he pitched six innings, giving up two runs on nine hits and two walks, as he struck out four, in the Nationals’ 4-3 lost. He will be trying for his first win of the year. The Phillies hope to win their sixth game in the row, and hope to take over first place, before they get ready to host the Mets this upcoming weekend.
The Phillies’ offense early innings offensive, and Blanton’s excellent pitching, would lead the Phillies to easily defeat the Nationals, 8-4. A Mets’ lost to the Marlins would help drop the Phillies’ magic number to win the Eastern Division down to one. The Phillies would take a quick lead in the first, as, with runners on the corners and one man out, Ryan Howard would hit a three-run home run, his forty-eighth home run of the year, scoring Jayson Werth, who has earlier singled and has moved to third on Chase Utley’s single, and Utley, who has singled earlier, to give the Phillies a quick 3-0 lead. The Nationals would get a run back in the second, as, with a runner on third and two outs, Luke Montz would hit a RBI single, knocking in Elijah Dukes who has earlier walked, went to second on a pass ball, moved to third on Kory Casto’s ground out, 4-3, to make it a 3-1 Phillies’ lead. The Phillies would blow the game wide open in their half of the second, as, with the bases loaded via a double (Greg Dobbs), a walk (Jimmy Rollins) and an infield single (Werth) and two outs, Utley would clear the bases by hitting a three-run RBI double, scoring Dobbs, Rollins and Werth, giving the Phillies a 6-1 lead. Howard would then follow with a RBI double, knocking in Utley, making it 7-1 Phils. The Nationals would cut the Phillies’ lead down in the fifth, as, with two men on and one out, Emilio Bonifacio would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Pete Orr, who would reach first on Howard’s fielding error and would move to third on Roger Bernadina’s double, to make it a 7-2 Phillies’ lead. One batter later, Bernadina would score on a Cristian Guzman’s single, cutting the Phillies’ lead down to 7-3. In the sixth, the Nationals would cut the lead down further to 7-4 Phillies as, with two outs, Casto would hit a solo home run, his second home run of the year, after the umpires have reviewed the play and dismissed Charlie Manuel’s argument that a fan has pulled the ball into the right field stands. The Phillies would get that run back in the seventh as, with runners on second and third and two men outs, Utley, who has earlier singled, stole second and would reached third on Shane Victorino’s force out, which would wipe out Pat Burrell, who has earlier walked, would crossed the plate on a pass ball, while Victorino, who has earlier stole second, would move on to third, making it 8-4 Phillies. Brad Lidge would then be given the ball in the ninth and would pitch a 1-2-3 inning.
Joe Blanton would get the win as he pitches six very strong innings, giving up four runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits. His record is now 9-12, 4-0 as a Phil, with an ERA of 4.69. Scott Eyre would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits while striking out two. Ryan Madson would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Brad Lidge would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out two. Collin Balester would take the lost, as he only went an inning and a third, giving up seven earned runs on seven hits. Jason Bergmann would pitch two and one third innings, giving up no runs on one hit. Charlie Manning would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Garrett Mock would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Mike Hinckley would pitch two thirds of an inning, giving up an unearned run on one hit. Jesus Colome would pitch an inning and a third, giving up no runs on no hits.
The Phillies’ offense would bust the game open early in the first two innings, via a three-run home run by Ryan Howard and a three-run double by Chase Utley. With this big runs support, Joe Blanton would be able to mow down the Nationals, getting most of them out via a large number of ground ball outs. The score is closer than it actually should have been, as one National run would come in thanks in part to a Carlos Ruiz pass ball on a Blanton pitch, and their second and third runs would cross the plate because of Ryan Howard’s fielding error on a ball that was hit straight to him. Whatever Charlie Manuel has told his men during their afternoon meeting must’ve worked as they would score several very early runs.
The Phillies (90-70) will continue their final three games home stand of the regular season with the Nationals (59-100) with a game this afternoon, which will be nationally televised by Fox Sports. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 3:55 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be the 45 years old veteran Jamie Moyer (15-7, 3.78), who is coming off a win against the Marlins on September 21, where he went six innings, giving up only one earned run on six scattered hits, in the Phillies’ 5-2 win. In his last start against the Nats on August 21, he would receive a no-decision as he went six and one third innings, giving up just an earned run on five hits, in the Phillies’ 4-3 lost. He will be trying for both his team leading sixteenth victory and to clinch the Phillies into the playoffs, if the Marlins don’t defeat the Mets earlier in the day. The Nationals will send to the mound John Lannan (9-14, 3.86), who is coming off a lost to the Padres on September 20, when he went seven innings, giving up four runs, only one of which was earned, on four hits, in the Nationals’ 6-1 lost. In his last two starts against the Phillies, his record is 0-2, where he pitched a combined total of eleven and two-thirds innings, giving up eight earned runs on fourteen hits. He will be trying to get his tenth victory while trying to see if he can stop the Phillies’ clinching celebration for one more day.
The Phillies are now ahead of the Mets in the East by two games after their lost to the Marlins, leaving the Phillies’ magic number to win the division at one. In the Wild Card race, the Brewers are now leading the Mets by one game as they defeated the Cubs, with their magic number to clinch the Wild Card now at two. The Phillies could clnch the East Saturday afternoon, with the clinching party being seen on national television, if the Mets haven’t already lost to the Marlins by then. Whatever happens, the Phillies need to take care of their own buisness and defeat the Nationals. GO PHILLIES!!!!
A solo home run by Jayson Werth helps to cap a come from behind win as the Phillies defeated the last place Nats in the first game of a three games set. The Nationals would strike first in the first inning as Willie Harris would hit a solo home run off of Phils’ starter Joe Blanton for his tenth home run of the year to give the Nats a quick 1-0 lead. The Phillies would come back to tie it in the second as Greg Dobbs would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Ryan Howard, who has earlier singled and would then move to third on Shane Victorino’s double. The Nationals would retake the lead in the fourth as Jesus Flores would hit a RBI single, knocking in Lastings Milledge, who has earlier singled and has gone to third on Ronnie Belliard’s single, giving the Nats a 2-1 lead. The Nats would then increase their lead in the fifth as, with one out and a runner on first, Ryan Zimmerman would hit a RBI triple, scoring Harris, who has earlier singled, to make it 3-1 Nationals. Zimmerman would then score on a two out single by Belliard, to make it 4-1 Nats. The Phillies would then do something that they haven’t done successfully for a while, strike back. In their half of the fifth, Victorino would start the inning off with a triple. He would then score to make it a 4-2 Nats’ lead as Dobbs’ fly ball to left is booted by the left fielder Harris for an error. Dobbs would then steal second, before going to third on Chris Coste’s line drive single to left that was deflected by Nats’ shortstop Belliard, putting runners on the corners. Geoff Jenkins, who has come up to pinch hit for Blanton, would make the score 4-3 Nationals as he hit a sacrifice fly. But the inning would then end on a Jimmy Rollins’ double play ball, 4-6-3. The Phillies’ bullpen, in this case Chad Durbin, would then come in to pitch two innings of shut out ball. The Phillies’ bat would then tie the game at four all in the seventh, as, with runners on first and third, and one out, Coste would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Victorino, who was earlier safe on a force out, and then would go to third on a Dobbs’ single, although he has gotten to third base earlier in the inning when a pick off attempt by Nats’ catcher Flores would go past first baseman Kory Casto into foul territory, but it was called back because home plate umpire Joe West said that Flores’ throwing hand has hit his mask when he was getting ready to throw the ball towards first. After Ryan Madson pitched a quick 1-2-3 eighth, with one out in the Phils’ half of the inning, Jayson Werth would give the Phillies the lead as he would hit his seventeenth home run of the year, a career high, giving the Phils a 5-4 lead. That would turn out to be the game, as Brad Lidge would come up in the ninth, and would record his thirty-first save of the year as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two.
Joe Blanton would get a no-decision as he would pitch five so-so innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits. Chad Durbin would pitch two scoreless innings, giving up three hits. Ryan Madson would get the win as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, strriking out two batters. His record is now 3-1 with a 3.11 ERA. Brad Lidge would also pitch a 1-2-3 inning, strking out two men as well, as he records his thirty-first save in thirty-one tries. Jason Bergmann would also get a no-decision as he went six and a third innings, giving up four runs, three of which were earned, on six hits. Steven Shell would get the lost and his first blown save, as he would go an inning, giving up one earned run on one hit, Jayson Werth’s home run. Charlie Manning and Saul Rivera would each pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits.
Other than Jayson Werth’s home run, the offense would not get a key hit to produce runs. Instead, their other four runs would come in via three sac flies and a Nats’ error. If the offense want to do better than that, it will need to get more than just six to seven hits a night, as it got outhit 11 to 7 by the worst team in the majors. That will not do if they want to get back into first place.
The Phillies (67-58) will continue their three games series with the Nationals (44-82) with a game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Brett Myers (5-10, 5.02), who is coming off a hard lost to the Dodgers on August 14 as he pitched his fourth straight quality start, going seven innings as he gave up only three earned runs on five hits, in the Phils’ 3-1 lost. In his last start against the Nats, on July 29, he would get the win as he went seven innings, giving up an unearned run on four hits, in the Phillies’ 2-1 win. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to dominate the Nationals once again. The Nats will counter by sending Collin Balester (2-5, 5.06), who is coming off a lost against the Mets on August 14, where he would pitch five innings, giving up five earned runs on four hits, in the Nationals’ 9-3 lost. His previous start against the Phillies was a defeat on July 29, as he gave up two earned runs on six hits in six innings of work, in the Nationals’ 2-1 lost. He will also be looking to improve his record while trying to stop the Nationals’ present losing streak at eleven games.
The Phillies continue to trail the Mets by a game and a half as the Mets came from behind to defeat the Braves. They are ahead of the Marlins by two and a half games as the Marlins cool off the Giants. The Phillies will try to stay close to the Mets, praying that they won’t lose any more ground before their meeting at the end of the home stand.
The Phillies (66-58) begins an important nine games home stand, and will start it with a three games against the woeful Nationals (44-81). The game will be played in Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (6-12 (1-0), 4.79), who is coming off a no-decision against the Dodgers on August 13 in which he pitched a so-so five innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits, in the Phillies’ 7-6 lost. He will be trying to regain the form he’d shown in his two starts before the Dodgers’ series, where he gave up only one earned run in fourteen innings of work. He will try to be the latest Phillies’ starter to have a good performance while hoping that the offense will give him the same support that they game him at the start of his previous start but didn’t respond to. The Nationals will oppose him with Jason Bergmann (2-9, 4.51), who is coming off a rather nasty lost to the Mets on August 13, as he got bombed for six earned runs on eight hits in three innings of work, in the Nationals’ 12-0 lost. He has already faced the Phillies twice this season, with both games being no-decisions, as he would pitch twelve and a third innings, giving up five earned runs on twelve hits. He’ll be looking to record his third win of the year while hoping that the Phillies’ bats won’t decide to take out their year long frustration out on him.
The Phillies come back home from a disastrous West Coast road trip, which saw them loss four straight to the Dodgers and then get a total of only eighteen hits in San Diego, despite winning the series against one of the worst teams in the league. Starting pitching continue to impress, the bullpen, in spite of a pair of blown saves in LA, is still the second best bullpen in the National League, while the bats continue to be frustratingly silent. The Phillies are bracing for a nasty response from the fanbase to Jimmy Rollins’ ‘front runners’ comment during the tail end of the Dodgers’ series fiasco. What they might not be prepared for is a fan-base campaign of support started last weekend by fellow blogger We Should Be GM’s who has suggested, partly in a sarcastic tone, that instead of booing the team into oblivion, the fans should give the team its whole hearted support, mainly to see what Rollins’ reaction will be to out and out whole hearted fan support from Phillies’ fans, instead of the expected boo-bird chants, which he calls Campaign: Cheer. My opinion on the campaign? If it help to get this team moving again, I’ll give it my support, 100%, with the stipulation that I have the right to boo them out of existance if they have a lousy home stand in spite of the support. Also, Charlie Manuel has literally asked for help in trying to get the Phillies’ offense back in operation. Hey, Charlie and Milt Thompson, another Phillies’ fan blogger, Phillies Phollowers, have some suggestions on how to get this team out of its collective slump. I suggest that you two read it and get the guys to do the same and follow the advice. I mean, come on, its simple common baseball sense, something that seems to have disappeared from within your team. But, more importantly, just go out there and clean the Nationals’ clock. This is a weak team that has recently been swept by the Mets. Beat them!!! Show them no mercy!!! GO PHILLIES!!!!
The Phillies now trail the Mets by a game and a half after the Mets’ lost to the Pirates (thank you thank you thank you!!!!), as they prepare for a three games series with the fading Braves who are now in a very unfamiliar role, that of a spolier. The Phillies are ahead of the Marlins by two and a half game as they prepare for a three games series with the presently hot Giants. The Phillies are hoping that they can do well against the Nationals while praying that the Braves will have enough fight left in them to give the Mets some heartburn.
The Phillies (22-24) continue their three games visit to Washington, D.C. with their second game at the Nationals’ (20-26) new home, Nationals Park. The game starts tonight at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phils will be sending out their ace, Cole Hamels (5-3, 2.89), who is coming off his first complete game shut out victory against the Atlanta Braves on May 15, giving up no runs on four hits and strking out six, in the Phillies’ 5-0 win. Hamels has won three of his last four starts, with the Phils’ winning the other one, as he goes twenty-nine and one third innings, giving up only ten earned runs on twenty-two hits and striking out twenty-four. His career record against the Nationals is 4-3 with a 2.49 ERA in ten starts, including his previous start against them this year, where he was involved in a pitcher’s duel with Tim Redding on April 2, going eight full innings, giving up an earned run on five hits, as he took the lost, in the Phils’ 1-0 defeat. He hopes to improve his record while ending the Phillies’ present losing streak at three games. The Nationals will counter with Jason Bergmann (1-1, 7.45), who is coming off a shut out victory of his own, as he pitched seven scoreless innings against the New York Mets, also on May 15, giving up no runs on three hits, in the Nationals’ 1-0 win. In his other three starts he got hammered pretty hard, including his April 3 start against the Phils, receiving a no-decision, as he went five and a third innings, giving up five earned runs on seven hits, in the Nationals’ 8-7 lost. He’ll be looking to improve his record, while trying to continue the Phils’ offensive woos.
The Phils’ offense has not been doing well in their last three games, leaving too many men on in scoring positions. For some reason, they are not getting the big hit when they need it. Just as badly, they don’t seems to be playing small ball, moving players into scoring position, hitting sac flies to score runners from third, being patient at the plate, taking pitches when ahead in the count, defending the plate with two strikes, waiting for the pitcher to throw their pitch, etc. Although they are suppose to be a runs producing team, they don’t seems to be doing the little things that helps to bring in runs, and it seems to have cost them their last three games. It’s obvious that Charlie Manuel and the coaching staff needs to remind them about that particular aspect of the game, and soon, if they want to get into the playoff at the end of the year. The Phils also need to start beating up on weak teams, as they are presently 8-8 in their last sixteen games playing against teams who are .500 or worst, losing two of their last three series.
The third place Phillies are a game and a half behind the National League East leading Marlins and a full game behind the Mets, while a half game ahead of the Braves. The Marlins will start a three games series with the best team in the National League, the Diamondbacks, in Miami, while the Mets will be playing the Braves in Atlanta for four games. The Phils hope to do better during their next two games with the Nationals, and during their four game set in Houston, so that they can get back to challenging for first place.
Edit: The Braves and Mets have finished the first games of a doubleheader, while the Braves have won 6-1, putting the Braves .001 percentage points ahead of the Phils and .001 percentage points behind the Mets, while all three teams are now a game and a half behind the Marlins. The second game is presently in a rain delay. Meanwhile, the Phils’ offensive troubles continues as Pat Burrell strands two runners on base, with one in scoring position.