A crazy game ended in dramatic fashion as Jeff Francoeur hits into an unassisted triple play, the first time it have ever happened in a National League ballgame and for the second time in Major League history, as the Phils hung on to defeat the Mets, 9-7. The Phils’ lead in the NL East still remains at six-and-a-half games going into this afternoon’s game, as the Braves defeated the Marlins.
The Phils took an early lead in the first as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Jayson Werth hits a three-run bomb into left field, his twenty-ninth home run of the season, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier doubled, and Shane Victorino, who had just walked, to give the Phils a 3-0 lead. The Phils then increased their lead to 6-0 as, with two men on, and now with two men out, Carlos Ruiz hits a three-run bomb of his own, also into left field, his eighth home run of the year, knocking in Pedro Feliz, who had earlier walked, and had gone to second base on Eric Bruntlett’s single, and Bruntlett, who was playing second base as Chase Utley was given the day off, who had earlier singled. Then, after Mets’ starter Oliver Perez had thrown three straight balls to Phils’ starter Pedro Martinez, Mets’ manager Jerry Manuel had seen enough of ‘Bad’ Perez, and replaced him with Nelson Figueroa, who then struck out Martinez on three pitches to end the inning. The Mets then came back as their lead-off man, Angel Pagan hits an inside-the-park home run, his fourth home run of the year, on a ball that got stuck under the rail in left-center field, which the umpires did not call a ground-rule double because of the stadium’s rule on those kinds of hit balls, cutting the Phils’ lead down to 6-1. Three batters later, the Mets made it 6-2 Phils as, with a man on base, and with one out, Jeff Francoeur hits an RBI triple, knocking in Daniel Murphy, who was earlier safe on a force out, 6-4. The Phils then increased their lead in the third as, with the bases loaded, via a walk to Raul Ibanez, a single to Feliz, sending Ibanez up to second base, and a single to Bruntlett, sending Ibanez over to third, and Feliz to second, with only one man out, as Martinez hits an RBI single, knocking in Ibanez, and making it a 7-2 Phils’ lead, while sending Feliz on to third, and Bruntlett over to second. Rollins would then make it 8-2 Phils as he hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Feliz from third. The Mets got a run back in their half of the third as Pagan hits a lead-off home run, his fifth home run of the season, as he cut the Phils’ lead down to 8-3. Three batters later, with runners on second and third, and with one man out, Cory Sullivan hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, scoring Luis Castillo, who had earlier singled, and then went to third on Murphy’s double, making it 8-4 Phils. That would remain the score until the seventh, as Martinez finally settled down in the middle innings. In the seventh, the Mets made it 8-5 as, with a runner on base, and with two men out, Murphy hits an RBI single, knocking in Castillo, who had earlier walked, and then stole second. In the eighth, the Phils got that run back as, with a runner on third, and with two men out, Matt Stairs, who had earlier reached base on a pinch walk, move up to second on a wild pitch, and then went to third on Rollins’ ground out, 3-unassisted, scored on a second wild pitch, making it 9-5 Phils. The Mets would get that run back in their half of the eighth as, with a runner on base, and with two men out, Anderson Hernandez hits an RBI double, knocking in Sullivan, who had earlier singled, and then stole second, making it a 9-6 Phils’ lead. Then, in the ninth, things got even wierder. In the top of the inning, with two men out, Bruntlett hits a fly ball to center field, that Francouer caught as he dived for it, possibly hurting his hand as he did so, but was originally declared a trapped ball, with Bruntlett ending up on third with a triple. But, after Francoeur informed the umpires that he had in fact caught the ball, which would later be backed up by instant replay of the catch, the umpires, after a conference, would reversed the call as the third base umpire, Tim Timmons, had a better view of the play. But, when one of the umpires went to explain their ruling to Phils’ manager Charlie Manuel, it would lead to Charlie being ejected for disputing the call. Then in the bottom of the ninth, with a runner on third, and with nobody out, Castillo reached base on a Bruntlett fielding error, which allowed Pagan, who had reached base earlier on a three-base error by Ryan Howard on a ball that Howard never touched, cutting the Phils’ lead down to 9-7. The next batter, Murphy, then reached base on an infield single, on a ball that Bruntlett was only able to stop behind second base, allowing Castillo to reach second. Then with Francouer batting, and with the count 2-2, J. Manuel sent both Castillo and Murphy running on the pitch. Francouer then hit a line drive up the middle, pass Phils’ closer Brad Lidge. Bruntlett, who had gone over to second to cover the bag on the back end of the double steal attempt, caught Francouer’s line drive for the first out of the inning, before his momentum caused him to tag second base, doubling up Castillo. Then he went after Murphy, soon tagging him for the third and final out, preserving the Phils’ win, and becoming the first National Leaguer to perform an unassisted triple play which ended a ballgame, and becoming the second major leaguer to do so since Johnny Nuen of the Tigers did it back on May 21, 1927 against the Indians.
Pedro Martinez won the game, going six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and a walk, while he struck out five. His record is now 2-0 with an ERA of 5.14. Chad Durbin pitched an inning, giving up a run on one hit and a walk. Ryan Madson also gave up a run, on two hits. Brad Lidge recorded his twenty-fifth save of the season, as he gave up an unearned run on a hit. Oliver Perez took the lost, as he lasted only two-thirds of an inning, giving up six runs on four hits and two walks. His record is now 3-4 with a 6.82 ERA. Nelson Figuera pitched two and a third innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks, while striking out a batter. Pat Misch pitched four scoreless innings, giving up just a hit, as he struck out four. Sean Green pitched an inning, giving up a run on one hit, two walks and two wild pitches, while he struck out one. Elmer Dessens pitched a 1-2-3 inning.
The Phils had ten hits in the game, with, of all people, Eric Bruntlett, leading the way with thre hits, raising his low average to .154. Next was Jayson Werth with two hits, with one of them being a three-run home run, raising his average to .271. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Pedro Feliz, Carlos Ruiz and Pedro Martinez had the other five Phils’ hits, with Rollins’ hit being a double and Ruiz’s hit being a three-run home run. Besides the two three-run homers by Werth and Ruiz, Martinez knocked in a run, and Rollins plated a run with a sac fly. The offense took an early lead with a couple of three-run bombs, and then scored enough runs to hang on before Bruntlett’s unassisted triple play finally ended the game.
The Phils (71-50 1st) have just finished their four-games series with the Mets (57-68), with a 6-2 victory behind Cliff Lee, who is now 5-0 since coming from the American League. The Phils’ lead in the National League East is now at seven games as they head to Pittsburgh for a three-games series with the Pirates.
The Mets once again deny Jamie Moyer a chance at winning his 250th career start by knocking him out of the box in the third inning, then held on to keep the Phils from performing another come-from-behind win, as the Phils fall to the Mets, 7-5, losing the two-games series in New York.
The Phillies scored first in the first inning, as, with a runner on second, and two men out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI double, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier singled and had gone to second on Chase Utley’s ground out, 4-3, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Mets would take the lead in their half of the first, when, with one man on, and one man out, Carlos Beltran hits a two-runs home run, his fifth home run of the year, knocking in Luis Castillo, who had earlier walked, and then stole second base, giving the Mets a 2-1 lead. Two batters later, with a runner on second and still one man out, David Wright hits a two-run home run of his own, his third home run of the year, knocking in Carlos Delgaldo, who had earlier doubled, making it 4-1 Mets. The Mets made it 5-1 in the second, as, with one man out, Jose Reyes hits a solo home run, his second home run of the year. The Met added to their lead in the third, as, with the bases loaded via a hit batter (Delgado) and two singles (Wright and Fernando Tatis) and one man out, Ramon Castro hits a two-run double, knocking in both Delgado and Wright, and sending Tatis to third, giving the Mets a 7-1 lead. That would be the game for Phils’ starter Jamie Moyer, as Charlie Manuel would take him out and replace him with J.A. Happ. Happ proceeded to shut the Mets down by getting Mets’ starter Mike Pelfrey to ground out, 6-3 and strike out Reyes looking, to end the inning with no further damage. The Phils then started to chip away at the Mets’ lead. In the fourth, they made it 7-2 Mets, as, with a runner on second, and no outs, Raul Ibanez hits an RBI single, scoring Jayson Werth, who had earlier singled, and had stolen second base. The Phils would make it 7-3 Mets in the sixth, as, with one out, Howard hits a solo home run to right center field, his sixth home run of the season. The Phils then cut the Mets’ lead down to 7-5, as, with a runner on third, and two outs, Werth hits a two-run home run, his fifth home run of the season, scoring Shane Victorino, who had earlier singled, had gone to second base on Utley’s ground out, 4-3, being called safe on Reyes’ interference error, which would lead to Mets’ manager Jerry Manuel’s ejection from the game for arguing the call and hitting the umpire with the bill of his cap, and moving on to third on Howard’s ground out, also 4-3. In the ninth inning, the Phillies had a runner on second, Matt Stairs, who had a pinch hit walk and went to second on defensive indifference, and two outs, with Rollins at the plate, representing the tying run. Rollins would end the game by poping out to second, as Mets’ closer Francisco Rodriguez recorded his ninth save of the year and his fourth in four straight games.
Jamie Moyer took the lost as he is once again denied his 250th career win. He would go only two and one-third innings, giving up seven runs on seven hits, two walks and a hit batter, while striking out only one. His record is now 3-2 with a 7.26 ERA. J.A. Happ pitched three and two-thirds strong innings of relief, giving up only two hits, while striking out two. Clay Condrey pitched a scoreless inning, only giving up a hit and a walk. Jack Taschner also pitched a scoreless inning, striking out a batter. Mike Pelfrey took the win as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up just three runs on eight hits and a walk. His record is now 4-0 with an ERA of 5.46. Pedro Feliciano pitched an inning, giving up two runs on two hits. Francisco Rodriguez recorded his ninth save of the year, and his fourth save in four straight games, as he pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up only a walk.
The Phillies had ten hits in the game, with Jayson Werth leading the team with four hits, two singles, a double and a home-run, knocking in two runs and scoring two, raising his season average to .284. Ryan Howard followed with two hits, a double and a home run, knocking in two runs. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez and Pedro Feliz had the other four Phillies’ hits, all singles. Ibanez knocked in the Phils other run. Once again, starting pitching has done in the Phillies, as the relief corps had to once again come in early to shut down the opposition, giving the Phillies’ bats time to chip away at the lead. Sadly, the Phils were unable to overcome the Mets’ lead, but the comeback still put the rest of the National League on notice that this is a ballclub that refuses to quit.
The Phils (14-12, 1st) come back home, still in first place in the National League East, to start a three-games weekend home stand with the Braves (13-15, 4th). The first game of the three-games series will be played tonight at Citizens Bank Park, with a start time of 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamels, who is recovering from an injury to his left foot, which he had rolled over trying to field a bunt on April 28 against the Nationals. In that game, he was dominating the Nationals before his mishap, having shut them down for four and a third innings, giving up just four hits and two walks, while striking out four, as he received a no-decision in the Phillies’ 7-1 blow out win. He is still looking for his first win, while the Phillies hope that he will once again dominate opposing batters while not suffering another freak injury. The Braves will counter with Jo-Jo Reyes (0-1, 5.00), who is coming off a no-decision of his own, as he pitched five and a third innings against the Astros on May 3, giving up four runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out three, in the Braves’ 7-5 lost. He is also looking for his first win. The Phils hope to win the weekend series with the Braves, before starting their first series of the year with the now-Manny Ramirez-less Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Phillies lose their third straight game to the Mets as a late inning rally would fall short as they could not overcome an early deficit, losing 10-9. The Phillies’ starter, Adam Eaton, would only be able to go two and two-thirds innings as he is roughed up by the Mets’ batters, who were coming off a high left over from their win on Sunday. The damage would begin in the very first inning, as Jose Reyes, who has gotten on base earlier with a single and have moved to third on Endy Chavez’s single, would score the first Mets’ run on a David Wright ground out, second to first, to give the Mets a 1-0 lead, while Chavez would go to second on the play. Two batters later, with Chavez on third and with two outs, a Damion Easley would score Chavez, making it 2-0 Mets. The Mets would increase their lead in the second, when, with two men on and two outs, Chavez would hit a RBI single, scoring Brian Schneider, who has gotten on base earlier during a force out, giving the Mets a 3-0 lead. A Wright double would make it 5-0, as he knocks in Reyes, who has earlier walked and Easley. The Mets would then chase Adam Eaton out of the game in the third inning. With one out, and with runners on the corners, Schneider would ground out short to first for out number two, while scoring Carlos Delgado, who has earlier doubled, to make it a 6-0 Mets’ lead. Pedro Martinez would then reach base on a Greg Dobbs’ fielding error, allowing Fernando Tatis, who has earlier singled, to score, making it 7-0 Mets. Two batters later, Chavez would single in Martinez, making it 8-0. Clay Condrey would relieve Eaton and would finally end the inning by getting Wright to fly out. The Phillies would get a run back in the fourth as Chase Utley would hit his major league leading twenty-fifth home run of the year off of Mets’ starter Martinez, a solo shot, which would make it 8-1 Mets. The Mets would then increase their lead in the sixth, as they knocked in two runs off of R.J. Swindle, who was pitching his first game after being recalled from Lehigh Valley to replace Tom Gordon in the bullpen. The first run would come in on a solo home run by Wright, his seventeenth home run of the year, to make it 9-1 Mets. Later, with the bases loaded, and two outs, Martinez would hit a RBI single, scoring Carlos Beltran, who has earlier singled, making it 10-1 Mets. But, that would be the last run that the Mets would score last night, as Shane Victorino throws out Easley at home plate, with Chris Coste supplying the tag, for the final out of the inning. From that point on, the Phillies would attempt a comeback. It would begin in the Phillies’ half of the sixth, as Pat Burrell would hit a solo home run, his twenty-second home run of the year, to make it 10-2 Mets. The Phillies would continue in the seventh, as Victorino would hit a RBI double, scoring Jimmy Rollins who has earlier singled, to cut the Mets’ lead to 10-3. Two batters later, Ryan Howard would hit his twenty-fourth home run of the year, scoring Victorino, on a ball that was originally called a ground rule double because of possible fan’s interference. But, after an agrument from Charlie Manuel, and a conversation among the umpires, the ruling was changed into a home run. This would in turn lead to an argument from Mets’ manager, Jerry Manuel, who would then be ejected from the game, as the Mets now lead the game 10-5. In the eighth, the Phillies would continue their comeback, as Geoff Jenkins would hit a two-run home run, his seventh home run of the year, scoring Jayson Werth, who has earlier singled, making it 10-7 Mets. Then in the ninth, with Billy Wagner on the mound, the Phils tried to send it into extra-innings. Victornio would start the inning off with a double, followed by a walk to Eric Bruntlett, with nobody out. After Howard strikes out and Burrell flies out to right, Pedro Feliz would hit a pinch single, scoring Victornio and sending Bruntlett to third, making it 10-8 Mets. On the play, Beltran would throw the ball away, as he tries to cut down Bruntlett at third, for an error, allowing Bruntlett to score and sending Feliz over to second base, as the Phillies now trail the Mets 10-9. But, that would be as close as the Phillies would get, as Wagner would get Werth to fly out to right to end the game, recording his twentieth save of the year.
Adam Eaton would take the lost, as he gets rocked for eight earned runs on ten hits as he is only able to go two and two thirds inning. His record is now 3-7 with a 5.20 ERA. Clay Condrey would pitch two and one third innings of scoreless ball, giving up just two hits. R.J.Swindle would pitch three innings of relief, giving up two earned runs on four hits. J.C. Romero would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit. Pedro Martinez would get the win, as he goes five and a third innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits. His record is now 3-2 with a 6.86 ERA. Tony Armas would go an inning and a third, giving up three earned runs on three hits. Aaron Heilman would also go an inning and a third, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Billy Wagner would pitch the ninth, recording his twentieth save of the season, as he gives up two earned runs on two hits.
The Phillies’ offense was once again stifled in the early going, while being put in the hole early by Adam Eaton’s bad start on the mound. But slowly it came back to life, scoring all but one of its runs in the last four innings, mostly by the long ball, as they, for the first time in a while, refused to quit, despite being buried early. It could mean the reemergence of the team that was finding ways to win games back in April and early May before the period when the team would seem to be able to score runs at will. If so, it would be coming not a moment too soon, as the Cardinals and then the Diamondbacks would be coming into town for the last two series before the All-Star break.
The Phillies (48-42) will start a three games set with the Cardinals (50-40, 2nd National League Central) at Citizens Bank Park. The first game of the series will be played tonight, starting at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be their ace, Cole Hamels (9-5, 3.22), who has won his last start against the Braves on July 3, just missing out on his third complete game shut out. He would instead go eight and two-thirds innings, giving up only an earned run on five hits in the Phillies’ 4-1 win. He has won his last two starts giving up five earned runs on eleven hits as he pitched a combined total of fifteen and two-thirds innings. He will be gunning for his tenth win of the season, while hoping to end the Phillies’ present slide. The Cardinals will counter with Joel Pineiro (2-4, 4.52), who is coming off a no-decision against the Mets on July 2, as he would go only five innings, giving up four earned runs on eleven hits in the Cardinals’ 8-7 win. Pineiro will be looking for his first victory since April 29, while the Cardinals’ hope that he will keep them in the game against a probably angry Phillies team.
The Phillies’ lead over the Marlins has been cut down to one and half games, as the fish were able to defeat the Padres. The Mets are now trailing the Phillies by two and a half games. The Braves still trail the Phillies by six games as they lost to the Dodgers. The Phillies hope that last night’s comeback attempt, although a failure, could be the launch pad for a very productive period, as the Phillies look to find somebody, or rather somebodies, upon whom to take out their present offensive frustrations out on, while trying to once again take complete control of the East before the All-Star break.