The Phils get crush as they lose to the Astros, 10-3.
The Astros took an early 1-0 lead in the first as, with two men on, and with one man out, J.D. Martinez hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, knocking in Jordan Schafer, who had started the game off with a single, stopped at second base on Jose Altuve’s single, then went to third on Vance Worley’s wild pitch. The Astros increased their lead in the second as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Jason Castro hits an RBI single, scoring Jed Lowrie, who had earlier walked, then went to third on Brett Wallace’s single, giving the Astros a 2-0 lead, while sending Wallace, who had just singled, up to second base. The Astros then made it a 3-0 lead in the fourth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Schafer hits an RBI double, knocking in Wallace, who was earlier safe on a force out, 3-6, wiping out at second base Matt Downs, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second base on Castro’s single, while sending Castro, who had just singled, on to third. Two batters later, with two men still on, and now with two men out, the Astros busted the game open as Brian Bogusevic reached base on a throwing error by third baseman Kevin Frandsen, allowing Castro to score, making it a 4-0 Astros’ lead, before Schafer scored, after first stopping at third base, to make it 5-0 Astros. The Astros then made it a 6-0 lead as, after Bogusevic had stole second base, Martinez brought him home as he hits an RBI double. The Astros added to their lead in the sixth as, with a man on second, and with one man out, Martinez hits an RBI double, his second of the game, scoring Marwin Gonzalez, who had earlier walked, then moved up to second base on pinch hitter Brandon Barnes’ ground out, 3-unassisted, giving the Astros a 7-0 lead. Four batters later, with the bases loaded, via a walk to Brian Bixler, and a single to Jonathan Singleton, moving both runners up a base, and with two men out, pinch hitter Diory Hernandez hits a two-run single, knocking in Martinez and Bixler, giving the Astros a 9-0 lead, while sending Singleton up to second base. The Astros then made it a 10-0 lead as pinch hitter Carlos Corporan hits an RBI single, scoring Singleton, while sending Hernandez up to second base. The Phils finally got on the scoreboard in the eighth as, with runners on second and third, and with tw0 men out, Lou Montanez hits a two-run double, knocking in Freddy Galvis, who had earlier walked, then stopped at third base on Scott Podsednik’s double, and Podsednik. who had just doubled, cutting the Astros’ lead down to 10-2. The Phils then made it a 10-3 Astros’ lead in the ninth as Hector Luna hits a lead-off home run, his first home run of the spring. But that would be the final score as Jose Valdez ended the game by getting Sebastian Valle to fly out to left for the final out.
Vance Worley (0-1, 9.oo) took the lost as he pitched two innings, giving up two runs on five hits, a walk and a wild pitch. Pat Misch pitched two innings, giving up four runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Jonathan Papelbon pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out two. Dontrelle Willis pitched two and a third innings, giving up four runs on three hits and two walks. B.J. Rosenberg pitched an inning and a third, giving up a hit while striking out two. Chad Qualls and Michael Stutes pitched two scoreless innings, giving up a walk (Qualls), while striking out a batter (Stutes) between them. Bud Norris (1-0, 0.00) got the win as he pitched three scoreless innings, walking a batter. Kyle Weiland, Lance Pendleton and Jorge De Leon combined for four scoreless innings, giving up two hits (Weiland) and two walks (Weiland (1), Pendleton (1)) between them, while strking out three (Weiland (2), Pendleton (1)). Fernando Rodriguez pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a walk, while striking out two. Jose Valdez pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit.
The Phils had only five hits in the game, a single by Shane Victorino, a double by Scott Podsednik, a two-run double by Lou Montanez, a home run by Hector Luna and a single by Erik Kratz. The Phils also had four walks, as the offense was kept under control by Astros’ pitching.
The Phils’ (2-3) next game, another home game at Bright House Field, will be an afternoon game with the Pirates (2-2) tomorrow afternoon. The game will start at 1:05 pm EDT.
The Phils lose another close game with the Braves as they give up three runs in the top of the eleventh as they lose to Braves, 4-1.
The Phils took the lead in the third as, with one man out, Cliff Lee hits a solo home run, his first home run of the season, and of his career, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Braves tied the game up at one-all in the fifth as Dan Uggla hits a lead-off home run, his fifteenth home run of the year. The game then remained tied until the top of the eleventh as, with a runner on second, and with one man out, Alex Gonzalez hits a foul pop that Ryan Howard was unable to catch in foul territory. That would come back to haunt the Phils as Gonzalez later hits an RBI single, scoring pinch runner Wilkin Ramirez, who was pinch running for pinch hitter Eric Hinske, who had just walked, then moved up to second on Jordan Schafer’s sacrifice bunt, 5-3, giving the Braves a 2-1 lead. The Braves then took a 4-1 lead as Brian McCann hits a two-run home run, his fifteenth home run of the year, knocking in Gonzalez. That would be the final score as Craig Kimbrel would come in and record his twenty-eighth save of the year with a 1-2-3 bottom of the eleventh.
Cliff Lee received a no-decision as he pitched eight strong innings, giving up a run on three hits, and two walks, while striking out nine. Antonio Bastardo and Juan Pierre both pitched a 1-2-3 inning, both man striking out two batters between them. Michael Stutes (3-1, 3.26) took the lost as he gave up three runs on two hits and a walk, while he struck out one. Tommy Hanson also received a no-decision as he went seven innings, giving up a run on four hits and a walk, while he struck out six. Jonny Venters and Eric O’Flaherty combine for two 1-2-3 innings, both striking out a batter. George Sherrill (2-1, 2.22) got the win as he pitched an inning, giving up two hits and a walk, while striking out one. Craig Kimbrel recorded his twenty-eighth save of the season as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning.
The Phils had only six hits in the game, with John Mayberry Jr. getting a double, Raul Ibanez with a single, Carlos Ruiz with a single, Wilson Valdez with a single, Cliff Lee with a home run, his first career home run, and pinch hitter Michael Martinez with a single, as the Braves’ pitching staff handled the Phils’ bats yesterday.
The Phils (56-34, 1st) will conclude their series with the Braves (54-37, 2nd) with a game now in progress.
After trailing the Braves for the third straight game, the Phillies’ eight-run rally in the seventh inning lead to their first win of the 2009 season, as they defeat the Atlanta Braves, 12-11, ending the three-game series on a high note.
The Phillies began the afternoon by receiving their world series ring. After the ring ceremony, Joe Blanton started the game for the Phils, and right from the start was in for a long day as he gave up a two-out two-run home run to Brian McCann, his second home run of the young season, knocking in Yunel Escobar, who had earlier reached second base with a double, giving the Braves an early 2-0 lead. The Phils tied the game up in their half of the second as Raul Ibanez hit a two-run home run, his first homer as a Phil, and the team’s first home run of the season, scoring Ryan Howard, who had earlier doubled. The Braves retook the lead in the top of the third as they torched Blanton for five runs. After loading the bases via a single to Omar Infante, a walk to Kelly Johnson and another single to Escobar, with nobody out, McCann made the score 3-2 Braves by knocking in Infante with an RBI single, while moving Johnson and Escobar up to third and second respectively, leaving the bases loaded. After Casey Kotchman strikes out for the inning’ first out, Jeff Francoeur made it 5-2 Atlanta with a two-run single to center, knocking in both Johnson and Escobar, while McCann would move safely to third on Shane Victorino’s throw to home plate. Matt Diaz followed with a two-run double, scoring both Francoeur and McCann, giving the Braves a 7-2 lead. The Phils would get one of the runs back in the bottom half of the third, as Victorino, who had started the inning off with a triple, scored on an Infante throwing error of a Chase Utley ground ball to third base, making it 7-3 Atlanta. The Braves increased their lead to 9-3 in the fifth as rookie Jordan Schafer hit his second home run of his young career, a two-run shot to right, scoring Diaz, who had gotten on base earlier with a walk. Both runs came off of J.A. Happ, pitching in relief of Blanton, thus ending with one swing of the bat both the bullpen’s hitless and scoreless streak. The Braves added to their lead in the seventh, making it 10-3 Braves, as Chad Durbin gives up a bases loaded walk to Infante, forcing in Kotchman, who had earlier doubled and had moved over to third on Greg Norton’s walk, while moving Schafer to third, who had also walked, and moving Norton over to second base. Clay Condrey then came into the game in place of Durbin and got out of the inning by striking out Johnson. Now trailing 10-3, the offense decided to come to life. Victorino started off the Phils’ half of the seventh by grounding out, 5-3, for the inning’s first out. Utley followed with a single to center. Howard was then hit by the pitch, putting runners on first and second, as Utley moved up to second. The next batter, Jayson Werth, is then walked by Peter Moylan, who was pitching in relief of Eric O’Flaherty, loading the bases with still only one man out. Ibanez followed Werth with a single, knocking in Utley, as he collected his third RBI of the afternoon, making the score 10-4 Atlanta, while sending Howard over to third base, and Werth to second, leaving the bases loaded. Pedro Feliz then singled in Howard, making it 10-5 Braves, while Werth and Ibanez both moved up a base, leaving the bases loaded with Phils. Matt Stairs, pinch hitting for Carlos Ruiz, is given a four pitch walk, forcing in Werth with the third Phils’ run in the inning, reducing the Braves lead to 10-6, as the bases remained loaded. The next batter, pinch hitter Chris Coste, batting for Condrey, also walks, bringing home Ibanez, as the Phils now trailed 10-7, while the bases remained loaded for Jimmy Rollins, who became the ninth batter of the inning. Rollins received a four-pitch free pass, the third straight walk to a Phil batter, and the fourth walk of the inning, forcing in Feliz, as the bases stay loaded, making the score 10-8 Braves. The next batter, Victorino, followed with a single, scoring Stairs, making the score now 10-9 Atlanta, moving Coste and Rollins over to third and second base, respectively, as the bases remained loaded. The eleventh batter of the inning, Utley, walks, the fifth Phil to walk in the inning, tying the ballgame up at 10 all, as Coste crosses the plate, while Rollins and Victorino both moved up a base. Howard comes up to the plate, and with the count 1-1, hit the ball on a bounce towards Braves’ first baseman, Kotchman. Kotchman, having only one play, threw the ball over to relief pitcher Jorge Campillo, the fourth Braves reliever to pitch in the inning, who tagged the bag in front of Howard for the second out of the inning, as Rollins scored the go ahead run, giving the Phils their first lead of 2009, 11-10. Victorino and Utley both moved up a base on the play. Werth ended the inning by flying out to right. The Phils sent thirteen men to the plate, as they scored eight runs in the inning on four hits, five walks and a hit batter. Ryan Madson took over in the top of the eighth, pitching a strong 1-2-3 inning, throwing only seven pitches. The Phils added an insurance run in their half of the eighth, as Eric Bruntlett, pinch hitting for Madson, hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Ibanez, who had earlier walked and had gone to third on Feliz’s double, with nobody out, making it a 12-10 Phillies’ lead. In the ninth, Brad Lidge took the mound. Although he gave up a one-out solo home run to Diaz, his first home run of the season, Lidge recorded his first save of the 2009 season, as he struck out pinch hitter Garret Anderson for the final out, for the moment staying perfect in save opportunities as a Phil.
Joe Blanton received a no-decision as he got pummeled by the Braves, giving up seven runs on nine hits and two walks, while striking out six in four innings of work. J.A. Happ pitched two innings, giving up two runs on one hit and a walk, while he struck out two Braves. Chad Durbin pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on one hit and three walks. Clay Condrey received the win as he pitched a third of an inning, striking out the one man he would face. His record for 2009 is 1-0 with an ERA of 0.00. Ryan Madson pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning, as he held the lead. Brad Lidge recorded his first save of the season as he pitched an inning, giving up a run on one hit, as he struck out one. Javier Vazquez also received a no-decision, as he pitched six innings for the Braves, giving up just three runs on five hits and four walks, as he struck out five batters. Eric O’Flaherty followed him, pitching only a third of an inning, as he gave up two runs on one hit. Peter Moylan pitched to four batters, getting none of them out, as he gave up four runs on two hits and two walks. Blaine Boyer took the lost as he faced only two batters, with both of them scoring, as he gave up two runs on no hits and two walks. Jorge Campillo blew the save, giving up a run on two hits and two walks, in two-thirds of an inning. Jeff Bennett pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit while striking out a batter.
The Phillies had eleven hits in the game, with Victorino, Utley, Ibanez and Feliz each getting two hits. Howard, Ruiz and Coste had the other three hits. Ibanez knocked in three runs, Utley brought home two, while Feliz, Stairs, Coste, Rollins, Victorino, Howard and Bruntlett each knocked in a run, with Bruntlett’s coming in on a sacrifice fly. The Phillies collected five extra-base hits in the game, three doubles (Howard, Utley and Feliz), a triple (Victorino) and a home run (Ibanez). After three games, Utley leads the team in hitting with a .364 batting average, followed by Ruiz with a pleasently surprising .333 average.
The Phils (1-2) are off today. Their next game will be on the road against the Colorado Rockies (2-1) in Denver, Colorado, at Coors Field. The game will start at 2:10 pm Mountain Time tomorrow afternoon. The Phillies will send to the mound their ace, Cole Hamels, who ended 2008 with a record of 14-10 in 33 starts with an ERA of 3.09 in the regular season. His record for this season is presently 0-0 with a -.– ERA. The Rockies will oppose him with Jason Marquis, who last season had a record of 11-9 for the Chicago Cubs, with an ERA of 4.53 in 29 games (28 of which were starts). His record for this season is also 0-0 with a -.– ERA. The Phillies will be trying to even their season record tomorrow.
First, the answer to last week’s trivia question, which no one even attempted to answer. First, the question: Name the first ex-Phil to be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame? And the answer is: Nap Lajoie is the first ex-Phil to be elected into the Baseball Hal of Fame, as he was elected as a member of the 1937 class, receiving 168 votes or 83.58% of the vote in the second Hall of Fame election, being that year’s highest vote getter. Nap was a member of the Phils for four years, 1896-1900. A new weekly trivia question will be asked at the bottom of this post.
The 2009 regular season started last night as the 2008 World Champions Philadelphia Phillies faced one of their oldest rivals, the Atlanta Braves, in a night game at Citizens Bank Park, which included the raising of the 2008 banner and fireworks, as the Phils wore their special opening night uniforms with gold trim and the 2008 World Series patch.
Sadly, during the game itself, all of the fireworks were on the Atlanta Braves’ side as they torched Phils’ starter Brett Myers for four runs, via three home runs, in the first two innings. Things looked very promising for Myers as he easily got out the first two batters that he faced, via a fly out to center and a 6-3 ground out. Then Chipper Jones, with the count 3-2, hit a single to left, getting the first hit of the 2009 season. The next batter, Brian McCann then hit a 2-0 pitch into deep right field for a two-run home run, the first home run of the new season, as the Braves took a quick 2-0 lead. In the second, the Braves added to their lead as Jeff Francoeur hit his first home run of the year, a rocket into the left field seats, making it 3-0 Atlanta. One batter later, Jordan Schafer, in his first major league at-bat, made it 4-0 Braves as he slugged a 3-1 fastball into center field. Myers would settle down after that, giving up only five more hits as he pitched a total of six innings. While the Braves were raining on Myers’ parade, Derek Lowe was expertly handcuffing the Phils, giving up only two hits in his eight strong innings of work, a one-out ground-rule double to Carlos Ruiz in the third inning, the first Phillies’ hit of the season, who was then left stranded on second, and a two-out single to Jimmy Rollins in the sixth, who was then left on first as Jayson Werth lined out right to Lowe to end the inning. The Phils would finally score a run in the ninth inning, getting it off of reliever Mike Gonzalez. Pinch hitter Eric Bruntlett started the inning off with a pinch hit double. Rollins then flied out to right, sending Bruntlett over to third with one out. The next batter, Werth, then singled sharply to left, scoring Bruntlett, collecting the first Phillies RBI of the season, making it a 4-1 Braves’ lead. Chase Utley followed with a walk, sending Werth over to second, and bringing up the tying run to the plate in the person of Ryan Howard. Howard, who had been given a steady diet of off-speed pitches all night by Lowe, saw five straight sliders from Gonzalez, working the count full. Thus, Howard was caught off-guard when pitch no. six from Gonzalez was a fast ball, the first one he had seen all night, which was sent right down the pike, for a call third strike. Howard was followed by Raul Ibanez, who, like Howard, was looking for his first hit of the year, and seeing if he could help his new team out early in the season. Sadly, it was not to be, as he struck out, swinging, on a 3-2 fastball, ending the ballgame as a 4-1 Braves’ victory.
Brett Myers, in his six innings of work, gave up four runs on eight hits, including three home runs, and a walk while striking out six. His regular season record is now 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA. Jack Taschner, pitching in his first official game as a Phil, pitched a 1-2-3 inning as he struck out a batter. Scott Eyre followed him for two-thirds of an inning, recording a strikeout. Chad Durbin then pitched the final third of an inning, striking out the only batter he would face. Brad Lidge pitched the ninth for the Phils, pitching a 1-2-3 inning, including a strikeout. Derek Lowe pitched eight strong innings for the Braves, staying out of trouble all night, as he gave up only two hits to the Phils as he struck out four. His record is now 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. Mike Gonzalez pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a walk, while getting two very important strike outs to end the game.
At this point, Eric Bruntlett is leading the team in batting with a 1.000 batting average, as he went 1 for 1 with a double. Carlos Ruiz follows at .333, as he went 1 for 3 on the night with a ground-rule double. Jimmy Rollins and Jayson Werth follow with both men going 1 for 4 for a .250 batting average, with Werth having the Phils’, at the moment, only RBI of the season.
The short series will continued tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their ageless wonder Jamie Moyer, who record is presently 0-0 with a -.– ERA. The Braves will counter with Jair Jurrjens, who’s record is also 0-0 with a -.– ERA.
Now, here is this week’s trivia question: Name the first ten Phillies’ Opening Day Pitchers? You all know where to find the answer. The answer will be posted on Thursday.