Tagged: Josh Willingham

A sixteen-hit attack and a strong effort by J.A. Happ leads to a Phillies win over the hapless Nationals, 5-4.

A strong start by J.A. Happ and a sixteen-hit attack by the Phillies’ offense would lead to a Phils’ victory over the last place Nationals, 5-4.

The Nats took a quick 1-0 lead in the second, as Josh Willingham hits a lead-off home run, his seventh home run of the season. The Phils tied the game up at one-all in their half of the second as, with two men on, and one man out, Carlos Ruiz hits an RBI double, knocking in Jayson Werth, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second on Pedro Feliz’s single, while sending Feliz, who had earlier singled, over to third. The Phils would take the lead in the third as, with two men on, and one man out, Raul Ibanez hits a two-run single, scoring Shane Victorino, who had earlier singled, and had moved on to third on Chase Utley’s double, and Utley, who had earlier doubled, giving the Phils a 3-1 lead. Two batters later, with Ibanez still on first and now with two men out, Feliz hits an RBI triple, knocking in Ibanez, making it a 4-1 Phils’ lead. The Phils would increase their lead in the fourth as, with runners on the corners, and no one out, Utley hits into a 4-6 force out, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier doubled and had gone over to third on Victorino’s single, while Victorino, who had earlier singled, was forced out at second base for the inning’s first out, while Utley was safe at first on the play, giving the Phils a 5-1 lead. The Nats would come back in the sixth as, with two men on, and one man out, Josh Bard hits a two-run double, scoring Willingham, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second when Ryan Zimmerman was hit by the pitch, while sending Zimmerman, who had earlier been hit by a pitch, over to third, cutting the Phils’ lead down to 5-2. One batter later, the Nats would cut the lead down further to 5-3 Phils, as Anderson Hernandez hits an RBI single, scoring Zimmerman from third, before a Werth fielding error on the play allows Bard to score as well, turning it into a 5-4 Phils’ lead, while Hernandez would move up to second base on the error. But that would be the game, as the Phillies’ bullpen would shut the Nats down for the last three innings, with Brad Lidge nailing down his tenth save in the ninth.

J.A. Happ got the win as he pitched five and a third strong innings, giving up three runs on three hits and three walks, while striking out five. His record is now 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA. Chad Durbin pitched two-thirds of an inning, as he recorded his fourth hold, as he gave up an unearned run on two hits, while he struck out a batter. Scott Eyre pitched a 1-2-3 inning, as he recorded his eighth hold. Ryan Madson recorded his tenth hold as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit and a walk, while striking out one. Brad Lidge recorded his tenth save as he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out two batters. Ross Detwiler took the lost as he went four innings, giving up five runs on ten hits and a walk, as he struck out two. His record is now 0-1 with a 4.80 ERA. Jason Bergmann, Ron Villone, Mike MacDougal, Joe Beimel and Julian Tavarez combined for four scoreless innings, giving up six hits (Bergmann (1), Villone (2), MacDougal (1), Beimel (2)) and a walk (Beimel), while striking out three Phils (Bergamman, MacDougal and Beimel with a stikeout each).

The Phillies collected sixteen hits in the game, with all of the regulars getting at least one hit. Shane Victorino led the way with four hits as he raised his batting average to .293. Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez, Jayson Werth, Pedro Feliz and Carlos Ruiz then followed with two hits each. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard got the other two Phils’ hits. Ibanez knocked in two of the Phils’ runs, while Utley, Feliz and Ruiz each knocked in a run. The Phils had seven extra-base hits in the game, six doubles and a triple.

The Phillies (26-20, 2nd) continue their weekend series with the Nationals (13-34). The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern and will be played at Citizens Bank Park. The Phils’ starter will be their ace Cole Hamels (2-2, 4.68), who is coming off his best start of the season on May 24 against the Yankees, as he went six strong innings, giving up just two runs, on eight hits, while striking out five, in the Phils’ 5-4 extra-inning win. He will be going after his third win of the season. The Nats will counter with Shairon Martis (5-0, 4.86), who is coming off a no-decision against the Orioles on May 24, as he went six innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and two walks, as he struck out two, in the Nats’ 8-5 win , He will be going for his sixth win of the year. The Phillies will be trying to win their first series at home since their earlier home series win against these same Nationals.

The Phillies sweep a rain-shortened day-night doubleheader, defeating the Nationals by the scores of 8-5 and 7-5.

The Phillies’ bats and a good start by Brett Myers in the afternoon half of a day-night double bill leads to the sweep of the Nationals in a day-night doubleheader before the rain arrived to stop play. The Phils won 8-5 in the afternoon make-up of an earlier rain out while they won 7-5 in the rain-shortened night cap.

In the first game, the Phils took a quick 1-0 lead in the first, as, with two men out, Raul Ibanez hits a solo home run, his eleventh home run of the year. In the bottom of the first, the Nats would tie the game up at one-all, as, with two men out, Ryan Zimmerman hits his own solo home run, his ninth home run of the year. The Phils retook the lead in the second as Jayson Werth hits a lead-off solo home run, his seventh home run of the year, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. The Phillies increased their lead in the third, as, with two men on, and one man out, Ibanez busted the game open as he hits a three-run home run, his second home run of the game and his twelfth home run of the season, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier singled, and had gone on to second on Shane Victorino’s single, and Victorino, who had just singled, giving the Phillies a 5-1 lead. In the fourth, the Nats got a run back, as, with two men out, Josh Willingham hits a solo home run, his sixth home run, making it a 5-2 Phillies’ lead. In the fifth, the Phils increased their lead to 6-2, when, with two men on, and nobody out, Werth hits an RBI single, scoring Ibanez, who had earlier reached first on Nats’ first baseman Nick Johnson’s fielding error, and had gone to second on Ryan Howard’s single, while sending Howard, who had earlier singled, to second. The Phillies would make it a 7-2 game in the eighth, as, with runners on the corners, and two men out, Rollins hits an RBI single, scoring Chris Coste, who had earlier doubled, while sending Matt Stairs, who had earlier walked, over to third. One batter later, Victorino would give the Phils an 8-2 lead as he hits an RBI single, scoring Stairs, while sending Rollins to second. The Nats would make it an 8-3 Phils’ lead, as, with two men on, and nobody out, Cristian Guzman hits an RBI double, knocking in Anderson Hernandez, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to third on Ronnie Belliard’s single, while sending Belliard, who had earlier singled, over to third. One batter later, the Nats cut the Phils’ lead down to 8-4 as Johnson hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Belliard. Zimmerman made it an 8-5 Phils lead by hitting an RBI single, knocking in Guzman. In the ninth, Brad Lidge came in and nailed down his sixth save of the year.

Brett Myers won the game, pitching his second straight quality start, as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up only two runs on three hits and two walks, while striking out eight. His record is now 3-2 with an ERA of 4.50. Ryan Madson pitched an inning, giving up three runs on four hits. Brad Lidge would record his sixth save of the season as he pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up only one hit, as he struck out a batter. Scott Olsen took the lost as he pitched five innings, giving up six runs, only five of which were earned, on nine hits and two walks, while he struck out only three. His record is now 1-4 with a 7.24 ERA. Garrett Mock pitched three innings in relief, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Jesus Colome pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit, as he struck out one.

The Phillies banged out fourteen hits in the game. Raul Ibanez and Jayson Werth led the way with three hits apiece, including three home runs (Ibanez (2), Werth (1)), with the two between them knocking in six RBIs (Ibanez (4) and Werth (2)). Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Chris Coste all followed with two hits each. Ryan Howard and Pedro Feliz had the Phils other two hits. Rollins and Victorino had the other two RBIs, as the bats came alive in the first game.

In the second game, the Phils sent to the mound rookie Andrew Carpenter, as J.A. Happ, the scheduled starter, was no longer available as he had pitched in relief Friday night. The Nats took the lead in the first, as, with a runner on second and nobody out, Johnson hits an RBI single, knocking in Guzman who had earlier doubled. The Phils tied the game up at one-all in the third, as, with a runner on third, and one man out, Chase Utley hits an RBI double, knocking in Rollins, who had earlier tripled. Two batters later, with Utley still on second, and now two men out, Howard would give the Phils the lead as he hits a two-run home run, his eighth home run of the year, knocking in Utley, giving the Phillies a 3-1 lead. The Nationals got a run back in the fourth, as, with a runner on second, and nobody out, Wil Nieves hits an RBI single, scoring Belliard, who had earlier doubled, cutting the Phils’ lead to 3-2. In the fifth, the Phils would break this game open, as, with two men on, and one out, Ibanez hits a three-run home run, his third home run of the day and his thirteenth home run of the season, knocking in Rollins, who had earlier singled and had gone on to third on Utley’s double, and Utley, who had just doubled, making it a 6-2 Phils’ lead. Five batters later, with the bases loaded, via a Howard double and walks to Stairs and Victorino, and with two men out, the Phils made it a 7-2 lead, as Feliz received an RBI walk, scoring Howard. The Nats tried to get back into the game in their half of the fifth. as the weather started to turn bad. With two men on, and one man out, Willie Harris hits a two-run single, scoring Zimmerman, who had earlier walked and had gone on to third on Willingham’s double, and Willingham, who had earlier doubled, making it a 7-4 Phillies’ lead. That would be it for Carpenter, as he would be replaced with Clay Condrey. Belliard would greet Condrey by hitting an RBI triple, scoring Harris, and making it a 7-5 Phils’ lead. But Condrey would end the inning by striking out both Nieves and pinch hitter Alex Cintron. The Phillies would load the bases in the top of the sixth via walks to Rollins and Utley and a single to Ibanez. With Howard batting, the rain started to come down, hard, and the umpires stopped the game. After waiting over an hour, the game would be call, with the Phils winning 7-5.

Andrew Carpernter received the win, his first major league win, as he pitched four and one-third innings, giving up five runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out four. His record is now 1-0 with a 10.38 ERA. Clay Condrey recorded his first save of the year, as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit, while striking out two. Daniel Cabrera took the lost, as he pitched five innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits and four walks, while striking out three. His record is now 0-5 with a 5.95 ERA. Ron Villone pitched to three batters, giving up a hit and two walks, before the game was called.

The Phillies had nine hits in the second game, with Chase Utley leading the way with three hits, including two doubles. Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez and Ryan Howard got the Phils other six hits, having two hits apiece, with both Howard and Ibanez hitting a home run, while Rollins got a triple. Ibanez knocked in three runs, while Howard brought in two and Utley and Ruiz each brought in a run. The Phillies bat seems to have come alive on their trip to the nation’s capital, as they get ready for a series sweep.

The Phillies (19-16, 2nd) conclude their trip to Washington with an afternoon game with the Nationals (11-24, 5th). The game will be played at Nationals Park and will begin at 1:35 pm. Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Chan Ho Park (1-1, 6.00), who is coming off his second straight quality start, this one against the Dodgers on May 12, as he went six innings, giving up only two runs on seven hits, while striking out three, in the Phils’ 5-3 win. He will be going for his third straight quality start and his second straight win, while giving the Phils the chance to sweep the series. The Nationals will send to the mound, Jordan Zimmermann (2-1, 5.90), who is coming off a no-decision against the Giants on May 12, as he went six innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out eight, in the Nationals’ 9-7 lost. He will be trying to keep the Nats from being swept. The Phillies will be trying to leave Washington with a sweep, after having already recorded a series win at the start of their road trip.

Phillies watch their five-game winning streak end as they fall to the Nationals, 4-1.

Well, everything must end, and sadly, in this case, it was the Phillies’ five-game winning streak as they lose to the Nationals, 4-1.

The Phillies took an early, as, with one out, Shane Victorino hits a solo home run, his third home run of the year, making it 1-0 Phillies. The Nationals would tie it up at one-all in the third, as, with the bases loaded, via a double, to Anderson Hernandez, a walk to Nationals’ starter Scott Olsen, who was then forced out at second on a Cristian Guzman ground ball to first, 3-6, which sent Hernandez to third, while Guzman would beat out Jimmy Rollins’ throw back to first base, a Chris Coste pass ball, which sent Guzman up to second base, and a walk to Nick Johnson, with two men out, as Ryan Zimmerman walked, forcing in Hernandez with the tying run and moving Guzman and Johnson up to third and second base, respectively. The Nationals took the lead in the fifth, as, with a runner on second base, and one man out, Elijah Dukes hits an RBI single, scoring Zimmerman, who had earlier doubled, making it 2-1 Nationals. The Nationals increased their lead three batters later, as, now with two men on base, and two men outs, Hernandez hits an RBI single, knocking in Dukes, who had moved up to second base on Josh Willingham’s single, making it 3-1 Nats, while sending Willingham over to third. The Nationals added an insurance run in the eighth, as, with two men on, and two outs, Hernandez hits an RBI double, scoring pinch runner Willie Harris, who had taken over first base after Adam Dunn had earlier singled and had stolen second base, making it 4-1 Nationals, while sending Jesus Flores, who had earlier been intentionally walked, over to third. That ended up being the final score, as the Phillies would be unable to mount a comeback in the bottom half of the eighth.

Brett Myers took the lost, as he pitched six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and three walks, as he struck out three. His record is now 1-2 with a 4.83 ERA. Although he gave up no home runs in this game, his pitch count is getting too high as he is getting into too many 3-2 counts. Jack Taschner pitched two innings in relief, giving up a run on two hits and two walks, while striking out two. J.A. Happ pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, as he struck out a batter. Scott Olsen got the win as he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on six hits and two walks, while striking out six. His record is now 1-3 with a 6.08 ERA. Garrett Mock pitched a scoreless inning and a third as he held back the Phillies, giving up no hits and a walk, while striking out one. Kip Wells also pitched a scoreless inning as he held, giving up only two walks. Julian Tavarez recorded his first save of the year as he pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up just one hit, as he struck out a batter.

The Phillies were only able to record seven hits in the game. Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard both led the way with two hits each, all singles, as Rollins raised his batting average to .207, seeming to be ready to hit over .400 for the month of May as he’d predicted a few days ago. Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez had the other three hits, with Victorino’s hit, a home run, knocking in the Phils only run of the game. The lost gives the Phils an 11-9 record for the month of April, their second straight winning April. It would seems that the starters are starting to get their act together, which would be great news for the Phillies’ offense, as it would give them less reasons to be trying to come from behind to win games.

The Phillies (11-9, 2nd) have the day off today. Their next game will be played tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park against the New York Mets. The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. 

Joe Blanton loses his first game as a Phil as the Nationals gain their first win of the year as they defeat the Phils, 8-2.

The Phillies’ Joe Blanton loses his first start since being traded to the Phils, as he and the relief corps were the victims of several home runs launched by the Nationals as the Phils fall to the Nationals, 8-2.

The Nationals took a quick 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Adam Dunn hit a three-run home run, his third home run of the season, knocking in both Nick Johnson and Ryan Zimmerman, who had both earlier singled, while the two had moved up to third and second base respectively on Zimmerman’s single, as Pedro Feliz committed a catch error on the play. Those would turn out to be the only runs that Joe Blanton would give up as he proceeded to pitch the Phillies’ starters first quality start as he kept the Nationals scoreless for the next five innings. The Phillies, meantime, proceeded to cut down the Nats’ lead. They first made it 3-1 in the fourth as Raul Ibanez, with two men outs, singled in Chase Utley, who had earlier singled and had moved over to second base on Ryan Howard’s ground out to first. The Phils then cut the lead down to 3-2 in the fifth as Jimmy Rollins hit a sacrifice fly, knocking in Lou Marson, who had earlier doubled and had moved over to third on Blanton’s sacrifice bunt. But, the bullpen, this time, would be unable to keep the game close. In the seventh, Chad Durbin gave up a lead-off, solo home run to Josh Willingham, Willingham’s first home run of the year, making it 4-2 Nats. Then in the eighth, Jack Taschner would give up four runs to the Natonals. Elijah Dukes started things off by hitting a lead-off, solo home run, his second hme run of the season, increasing the Nationals’ lead to 5-2. Three batters later, Alberto Gonzalez made it 6-2 Nationals by hitting a solo home run with two outs, his first home run of the year. Two batters later, Anderson Hernandez made it 7-2 Nats with an RBI single, knocking in Roger Bernadina, who had earlier walked and then stole second base. Zimmerman increased the Nationals’ lead to 8-2 by bringing home Hernandez, who had moved up to second base on Johnson’s walk, while Johnson would move up to second. That would end up being the final score as Joel Hanrahan came in and pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the Nationals, giving them their first win of the season.

Joe Blanton took the lost, his first since his trade last year to the Phils from the Oakland A’s, as he pitched six solid innings, giving up just three runs on eight hits and one walk, while he struck out five. His record is now 0-1 with a still high ERA of 9.00. Chad Durbin pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on a hit and two walks. Jack Taschner pitched an inning, getting smoked for four runs on four hits and two walks as he struck out two. J.A. Happ pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. Shairon Martis picked up the win for the Nationals, as he went six and one-thirds innings, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out one. His record is now 1-0 with a 4.82 ERA. Mike Hinckley pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Joe Beimel pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Joel Hanrahan also pitched a 1-2-3 inning, with a strike out, ending the game for the Nationals.

The Phillies had only five hits in the game, with both Raul Ibanez and Lou Marson collecting two hits. Ibanez, who raised his average to .303, went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Marson, catching in his first game since being called up because of Carlos Ruiz’s injury, went two for three, including a double, as he scored a run. Chase Utley had the other Phils’ hit, a single, as he went 1 for 3 with a walk, scoring a run, as his average dropped to .393. Jimmy Rollins knocked in the other Phils’ run with a sacrifice fly. The Phils other .300 hitters at the moment, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz saw their batting averages drop as they all took the collar (.313, .313 and .308 respectively).

The Phillies (4-4, 3rd) now come home for a seven-games home stand, starting with a four-games series with the San Diego Padres (7-3, T-1st National League West). The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin after 7 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be their ace Cole Hamels (0-1, 17.18), who is coming off a rocky start against the Colorado Rockies last friday night. He gave up seven runs on eleven hits and a walk, while striking out only one batter in three and two-thirds innings of work, in the Phils’ 10-3 lost. He will be trying to recover from that poor start. The Padres will counter with Chris Young (2-0, 1.38), who is coming off a win against the San Francisco Giants on April 12, where he pitched seven strong innings, giving up no runs on four hits, while striking out seven, in the Padres’ 6-1 win. He will be looking to increase his record to 3-0 at the Phillies’ expense. The Phillies will come home, preparing several tributes in the memory of the late Harry Kalas, while trying to see if they can get back onto the winning track.

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 7: Behind solid pitching from Jamie Moyer and the bullpen and a pair of 2-run home runs from Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz, the Phillies sink the Marlins, 5-2. Phillies’ lead goes up to 1 and 1/2 games in the East.

Thanks to good pitching from Jamie Moyer and the bullpen and a pair of two-run home runs from Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz, the Phillies have finally sank the Marlins hopes for a playoff spot as they defeated the fish, 5-2. They increased their lead to a game and a half in the Eastern Division as the Mets’ lost to the Braves thanks to their bullpen emploding once again. The Phillies would take the lead in the third when, with a runner on second and no one out, Chase Utley would hit a two-run home run, his thirty-second home run of the year, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier doubled, to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. The Phils would add to their lead in the fourth as, with runners on first and third and two men outs, Rollins would hit a RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz who has earlier singled and would reached third on Marlins’ right fielder’s Cody Ross fielding error on Phillies’ starter Jamie Moyer’s fly ball, giving the Phillies a 3-0 lead, while Moyer would move up to second on Rollins’ single. Marlins’ starter Chris Volstad would then hit Chase Utley with the pitch to load the bases as Moyer and Rollins would both move up a base. Volstad would then get out of the inning by getting Jayson Werth to hit into a force out, as Marlins’s third baseman Jorge Cantu would touch third base before Rollins. The Marlins would then try to score a run in the fifth. After Moyer gets out the first two Marlins’ batters, he would give up a two-out double to John Baker. The next batter, Cantu, would reach base on a fielding error by Ryan Howard on a ball that Howard would be unable to handle, while Baker would move over to third on the play. Mike Jacobs would then hit a ground ball to Howard that would first hit Howard’s glove and then possibly his face, but Howard would still be able to throw Jacobs out at first, with Moyer covering the bag, as Jacobs did not immediately run out of the box, since he’d thought that Ryan has actually caught the ball, ending the threat. The Marlins would then cut the lead in the sixth as, with a runner on second and two outs, Alfredo Amezaga would hit a RBI single, scoring Josh Willingham, who has earlier doubled, making it a 3-1 Phillies’ lead. The Marlins would then make the score even closer in the seventh, as, with the bases loaded, thanks to a double (Baker/given up by Chad Durbin), a single (Cantu/also by Durbin) and a walk (Dan Uggla/by J.C. Romero), and two men out, Willingham would hit a sharp ground ball down the third base line that would be stopped by third baseman Greg Dobbs, who would then be unable to make the play, as Baker scores, making it 3-2 Phils, while the bases would remain loaded as Willingham would be credited with a single as Cantu and Uggla would both move up a base. Dobbs’ play would save at least a second run from scoring as Clay Condrey would come in in place of Romero and would get Ross to hit into a force play to third baseman Pedro Feliz, who has just replaced Dobbs, as he has suffered a leg cramp on the previous play, who would throw to Utley to force out Willingham, thus ending the inning. The Phillies would then put the game away in the eighth, as, with a runner on first and no one out, Feliz would hit a two-run home run, his fourteenth home run of the year, knocking in Shane Victorino who has reached base earlier with a single. After Ryan Madson has put the Marlins down 1-2-3 in their half of the eighth, Brad Lidge would be handed the ball in the ninth to end the game. The Marlins would get runners on first and second with two men outs, but Lidge would finally end the game by getting pinch hitter Dallas McPherson to strike out swinging for his fortieth save of the year.

Jamie Moyer would get the win as he would go six innings, giving up just an earned run on six hits while striking out four. His record is now 15-7 with a 3.78 ERA, while his career record against the Marlins is now 11-1. Chad Durbin would pitch one-third of an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits while walking one. Clay Condrey would also pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Ryan Madson would pitch a 1-2-3 scoreless inning. Brad Lidge would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk while striking out two as he records his fortieth save in forty tries. Chris Volstad would take the lost, as he pitches five innings, giving up three runs, two of which were earned, on six hits. His record is now 5-4 with a ERA of 3.10. Doug Waechter would go a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Andrew Miller would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Kevin Gregg would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Joe Nelson would pitch an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Ryan Tucker would pitch a scoreless 1-2-3 inning.

Although out hit by the Marlins, the Phillies’ offense would get the hits when they counted on Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz’s two two-run home runs, with the second one helping to take some of the wind out of the Marlins’ sails. The Phillies have won their fourth straight series since losing two of three to the Marlins at home, doing what they needed to do to get into first place in first the wild card chase and then the Eastern Division, as they watch first the Brewers and then the Mets slip out of the lead in the wild card and the division respectively. At the same time, they have put the Marlins out of contention in both the East and the wild card race. For the Phillies, the magic number to get into the playoffs is now set at 3. Hopefully, they can get it done by the time the Braves leave town this Wednesday.

The Phillies (86-68) will be coming home for their final home stand of the regular season, playing three games with the fourth place Braves (69-87). The first game of the series will be played tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be rookie J.A. Happ (1-0, 4.24), who is coming off a win against these same Braves on September 17, as he would pitch six shut out innings, giving up only three hits, in the Phillies’ 6-1 win. In three starts this year, Happ’s ERA is 2.12. He will be trying for his second major league win, while trying to get the Phillies even closer to reentering the playoffs. The Braves will counter with Jair Jurrjens (13-10, 3.72), who is coming off a lost to the Phillies on September 17, as he went five innings, giving up four earned runs on five hits, in the Braves’ 6-1 lost. He will be trying to improve on his last start, while trying to slow down the Phillies’ charge towards the playoffs.

With the win, the Phillies have increased their lead over the Mets to a game and a half as they lost to the Braves. They have increased their lead over the Marlins to six and a half games with the win. In the Wild Card race, the Mets now lead the Brewers by one and a half games as they defeated the Reds. The Mets now lead the Astros by four games as they beat the Pirates. The Phillies will now come home, trying to first clinch a spot in the playoffs before going for either the Eastern Division flag or the Wild Card spot.

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 8: Phillies defeated the Marlins, 3-2, in another heart stopper. Regain the lead in the East as the Mets lose to the Braves.

The Phillies, behind Joe Blanton and the bullpen, would hold on in a heart stopper to defeat the Marlins, 3-2. The win and the Mets’ lost to the Braves would put the Phillies back into first place in the Eastern Division pennant race. The Phillies would take the lead in the third as, with two men on and one out, Chase Utley would hit a RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who has gotten on base earlier on Marlins’ third baseman Jorge Cantu’s throwing error, and would then go to second on Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton’s sacrifice bunt, who would in turn be safe on first on Marlins’ starter Anibal Sanchez’s own throwing error, giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead. The Marlins would then strike back in their half of the third, when, with two men on and one out, John Baker would hit a two-run double, scoring Alfredo Amezaga, who has earlier singled and would move on to second on Cameron Maybin’s single, and Maybin, who has singled, to give the Marlins a 2-1 lead. The Phillies would tie the game up in the fourth as, with one out, Shane Victorino would hit a solo home run, his fourteenth home run of the year. The Phillies would then retake the lead in the sixth, as with two men on and two out, Greg Dobbs would hit a bloop single to left, scoring Ryan Howard, who has gotten on base earlier with a walk, giving the Phillies a 3-2 lead, and sending Pat Burrell, who has also walked, to second. After throwing two balls to Ruiz, Sanchez would be taken out of the game because of cramps to his right leg. The Marlins’ relief pitcher, Logan Kensing, would then throw two balls to Ruiz, walking him and loading the bases, although the walk would be charged to Sanchez. Kensing would then be taken out for Mark Hendrickson, who would get pinch hitter Tadahito Iguchi, who was pinch hitting for the originally announced pinch hitter Geoff Jenkins, who was pinch hitting for Blanton, to fly out to end the inning. The Phillies bullpen would then spend the next four innings turning back the Marlins. Sixth: Chad Durbin would get the first two batters out but would then give up a walk to Josh Willingham. But with the count 2-1 on Cody Ross, Ruiz would pick Willingham off first base, with Howard applying the tag, to end the inning. Seventh: After getting out the first batter, Durbin would give up a single to Amegaza. Charlie Manuel would then come out of the dugout, and replace Durbin with J.C. Romero. Romero would then walk pinch hitter Paul Lo Duca, sending Amegaza to second. After Brett Carroll goes to first base to pinch run for Lo Duca, Romero would proceed to strike out Maybin for the inning’s second out, and then strike out Baker to end the inning. Eighth: With Ryan Madson on the mound, he would give up a single to Cantu and then a double to Mike Jacobs, putting runners on second and third, with no one out, thanks to Jayson Werth’s playing of the ball after it drops in. After Jacobs is replaced by pinch runner Robert Andino, Dan Uggla would hit a slow roller to third. After getting the ball, Phillies’ third baseman Greg Dobbs would throw home, cutting down Andino, who would be tagged out by Ruiz, although instant replay would show that he might have beaten the tag, for the inning’s first out, while Jacobs would stay at second as Uggla would reach first on the fielder’s choice. Willingham would then hit into a force out, 6-4, cutting down Uggla at second, while Jacobs would go on to third, putting runners on the corners with two out. Madson would then end the inning by striking out Ross. Ninth: The ball is then handed over to Phillies’ closer Brad Liddge. Lidge would start the inning off by walking the pesky Amegaza. He would then strike out pinch hitter Dallas McPherson swinging for the inning’s first out, while Amegaza would steal second on the third strike. Lidge would then strike out Maybin swinging for the inning’s second out before he finally ends the ball game by striking out Baker, also swinging, for his thirty-ninth save in thirty-nine tries.

Joe Blanton would get the win, his third win as a Phil, as he would pitch five innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits, while striking out nine. His record is now 8-12, 3-0 as a Phil, while his ERA is now 4.79. Chad Durbin would pitch one and a third innings, giving up no runs on one hit. J.C. Romero would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no hits while striking out two. Ryan Madson would pitch a scoreless inning, as he gives up two hits and strikes out one as he pitched his way out of a two on, no outs jam. Brad Lidge would pitch a scoreless ninth as he struck out the side swinging while also walking one, as he recorded his thirty-ninth save of the year. Anibal Sanchez would get the lost, as he goes five and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on four hits, as he struck out eight while also walking three. His record is now 2-5 with a 5.57 ERA. Logan Kensing would pitch to one batter, walking him, but having it charged to Sanchez, because of the 2-0 count thanks to Sanchez’s injury. Mark Hendrickson would pitch an inning and a third, giving up no runs on no hits. Kevin Gregg and Joe Nelson would both pitch a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit (Nelson) while striking out three batters between them (Gregg (2) and Nelson (1)).

Blanton would pitch five strong innings, being able to keep the fish off-balanced enough that they would only get four hits off of him while getting nine of the Marlins to strike out. The bullpen would then take over and pitch four shut out innings, refusing to give the Marlins’ batters that clutch hit, especially in the eighth inning, when they had runners on second and third with no outs, thus ending the Marlins’ winning streak at nine games, and bringing a little bit closer the ending of the Marlins’ hopes for a playoff berth.

The once again first place Phillies (87-68) will play the final game of their series with the third place Marlins (81-73) tomorrow afternoon. The game will be played at Dolphin Stadium and will start at 4:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be the Marlins’ nemesis Jamie Moyer (14-7, 3.86), who will be coming off a no-decision against the Braves on September 16, where he went five and two-thirds innings, giving up six earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 8-7 win. His last start against the Marlins on August 5 was a lost as he was only able to go five innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits in the Phillies’ 8-2 lost. Lifeteime, his record against the Marlins is 10-1. He will be trying to regain his dominance over the young Marlins’ batters while gunning for his fifteenth win of the year. The Marlins will counter with rookie Chris Volstad (5-3, 3.07), who is coming off a win against the Astros on September 16, where he went eight innings, giving up an earned run on four hits, in the Marlins’ 5-1 win. He has faced the Phillies twice already this year, being 1-0 with a no-decision, as he would pitch a combine total of nine innings, giving up an earned run on five hits. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to hurt the Phillies’ pennant chances.

The Phillies are once again leading the Mets by half a game as they lost to the Braves. Their lead over the Marlins is now back to five and a half games thanks to their win over the fish. In the Wild Card chase, the Mets lead the Brewers by two and a half games as the Brewers lost to the Reds. The Mets lead both the Marlins and the Astros by five games, as the Astros lost to the Pirates. The Phillies will be trying for a series win while also hoping to increase their lead over the Mets in the Eastern Division.

Kyle Kendrick gets bombed as the Phillies are unable to come back from a 9-1 defecit as they lose to the Marlins, 10-8.

Kyle Kendrick is knocked out of the box in the second inning, after giving up seven runs, as the Phillies lose to the Marlins, 10-8. The Marlins would take the lead in the first as, with the bases loaded thanks to two singles (John Baker and Mike Jacobs) and a walk (Jorge Cantu) and with one man out, Dan Uggla would hit a two-run single, scoring Baker and Cantu, giving the Marlins a quick 2-0 lead, while sending Jacobs to third. Josh Willingham would follow with a sacrifice fly, scoring Jacobs, to make it 3-0 Marlins. The Phillies would get a run back in their half of the first as, with a runner on third and one out, Chase Utley would hit a soft grounder to the shortstop for the inning’s second out, 6-3, scoring Jayson Werth, who would get on base with a single, and then steal first second and then third, to cut the Marlins’ lead to 3-1. But the Marlins would go back to work on Phils’ starter Kyle Kendrick in the second, as, with a runner on second and one out, Hanley Ramirez would hit a RBI double, knocking in Marlins’ starter Chris Volstad, who has doubled earlier, to give the Marlins a 4-1 lead. Two batters later, after Baker walks, Cantu would hit a three-run home run, his twenty-fourth home run of the year, scoring Ramirez and Baker, giving the Marlins a 7-1 lead. That would be it for Kendrick as Charlie Manuel would take him out of the game for J.A. Happ, who would get out of the inning with no further damage. The Marlins would then add to their lead in the fourth as, with a runner on first and one out, Jacobs would hit a two-run home run, his thirty-second home run of the year, knocking in Cantu, who has earlier singled, to make it 9-1 Marlins. The Phillies would then start their comeback in their half of the fourth, as, after Volstad is taken out of the game, because of a ball hitting off his leg, and replaced with reliever Eulogio De La Cruz, with one man on base and no one out, Ryan Howard would hit a two-run home run, his forty-first home run of the year, scoring  Utley, who has earlier singled, to make it 9-3 Marlins. Two batters later, Shane Victorino would ground out, first to the pitcher, knocking in Pat Burrell, who has earlier tripled, to cut the Marlins’ lead down to 9-4. The Marlins would get a run back in the fifth as Cody Ross would hit a lead-off home run, his twenty-first home run of the year, to give the Marlins a 10-4 lead. The Phillies would then explode in the sixth. Howard would start the inning off with a double. Burrell would then follow with a walk, putting two men on base. Victorino would follow with a single, scoring Howard, making it a 10-5 Marlins’ lead, and sending Burrell over to third. De La Cruz is then taken out of the game and replaced with Doug Waechter. After Victorino steals second to put runners on second and third, Greg Dobbs would hit a two-run double, scoring both Burrell and Victorino, cutting the Marlins’ lead down to 10-7. Pinch hitter Matt Stairs would then follow with a RBI single, scoring Dobbs, making it 10-8 Marlins, with still no one out. After Chris Coste flies out for the inning’s first out, Jimmy Rollins would hit a single, sending Stairs to third, putting runners on the corners, with still one man out. Rollins would then steal second, to put both runners in scoring position. Werth would then fly out to right for the inning’s second out, which would unfortunatley not be deep enough to score Stairs from third. Waechter is then taken out and replaced by Andrew Miller, who would end the inning by getting Utley to pop up. The Phillies would mount one last threat in the eighth as they put runners on the corners with two singles (pinch hitter Pedro Feliz, later replaced by pinch runner So Taguchi, and Rollins) with two men out. But the threat would end as Werth lines out to right. The Phillies would then go down 1-2-3 in the ninth, as the Marlins would use two different pitchers in that inning to record the final three outs, with Matt Lindstrom recording his second save of the year.

Kyle Kendrick would get the lost as he is knocked out of the ballgame early, as he goes only an inning and a third, giving up seven earned runs on six hits and two walks. His record is now 11-9 with a 5.44 ERA. J.A. Happ would go three and one third innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, while striking out five, all three runs coming on two home runs. Clay Condrey would pitch one and a third innings of scoreless ball, giving up only one hit. Rudy Seanez would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits, while striking out two. Scott Eyre would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hits, while striking out a batter. Brad Lidge would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and strking out a batter. Chris Volstad would get a no-decision, as he is taken out of the game because of a ball hitting one of his legs, going three innings, giving up one earned run on two hits. Eulogio De La Cruz would pitch two innings plus three batters, as he gives up six earned runs on five hits and two walks, Doug Waechter would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on three hits. Andrew Miller would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Kevin Gregg would get the win as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. His record is now 7-8 with a 3.73 ERA. Joe Nelson would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up two hits. Arthur Rhodes would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Matt Lindstrom would record his second save of the year as he goes a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits.

Kyle Kendrick would get knocked around by the Marlins, not lasting two innings, thus showing that his stint in the bullpen last weekend didn’t seem to do anything for him. Because of the seven runs that he gave up, along with the three that J.A. Happ would give up later on a pair of home runs, the Phillies’ offense would be put in an early hole that they could not fully climb out of. I hate to say it, but Kendrick needs to be seated on the bench for a while, until he can find out what his problem is and correct it. If this means some time back in the minors at the start of ’09, then so be it, he just need to get back into attacking batters and not worry about what they are going to do with his pitches. He might also develop an out pitch while he’s at it.

The Phllies (79-66) are right now playing the final game of their three games series with the Marlins (73-72) at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies’ starter is Brett Myers (9-10, 4.19), who is coming off a recent win against the Mets on September 5, where he threw eight shut out innings, giving up only three hits, in the Phillies’ 3-0 win. Since coming back from the minors, Myers has posted a 6-1 record with two no-decisions, which the Phillies have split. He will be looking to even his record while keeping the Phillies paced with the Mets. The Marlins will send to the mound Ricky Nolasco (13-7, 3.56), who is coming off a no-decision against the Cardinals on September 5, as he would go seven innings, giving up only one earned run on six hits, in the Marlins’ 4-1 win. His previous start against the Phillies on July 18 was a lost, as he went seven innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits in the Marlins’ 4-2 lost. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to do better against the Phillies then he did in his previous start.

The Phillies now trail the Mets by two and a half games in the East as they face the Nationals later today. They lead the Marlins by six games going into this afternoon’s game. In the wild card chase, they are now three and a half games behind Milwaukee, as they have just defeated the Reds, while they are presently a half game ahead of the Cardinals who will play the Cubs tonight and a game ahead of the Astros who will play the Pirates tonight. The Phillies will need to win today to keep pace in both the division and the wild card.