Roy Halladay, as he pitches his 50th complete game, wins his 150th career game as he outduels the Astros’ Ray Oswalt, as the Phils defeat the Astros’ 2-1. The Phils, now 5-1, are off to their best start since 1993, when they started that pennant season with an 8-1 start.
The Phils took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as, on the second pitch of the game, Jimmy Rollins hits a solo home run, his first home run of the season. The Phils would make it 2-0 in the second as, with runners on the corners, and with nobody out, Carlos Ruiz hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, knocking in Raul Ibanez, who had earlier doubled and had gone to third on Shane Victorino’s single, while Victorino, who had earlier singled, moved up to second base. The game then became a pitchers’ duel between the Phils’ Roy Halladay and the Astros’ Roy Oswalt, with Oswalt giving up no more runs before leaving the game in the sixth, having given up two runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out eight Phils, while Halladay, through five, gave up only three hits while striking out five Astros. The Astros then threathen in the sixth as they loaded up the bases on singles to pinch hitter Chris Johnson and Michael Bourn, with Johnson moving up to second base, and an error to third base by Halladay on a bunt attempt by Jeff Keppinger, allowing Johnson to reach third, while Bourn moved up to second on the throw to third, with nobody out. But the next batter, Cory Sullivan then hits into a 6-3 double play, forcing out Keppinger at second base, while Johnson scored, making it a 2-1 Phils’ lead, while Bourn moved up to third, where he would stay as the next batter, Carlos Lee, pops up to Rollins for the final out of the inning. The Astros then threathen again in the seventh, as they put runners on second and third, with one man out, via singles to Geoff Blum and Pedro Feliz, with Blum moving up to second base on Feliz’s hit, and then with both man moving up a base on Kazuo Matsui’s sacrifice bunt, 2-4, for the inning’s first out. But Halladay then turned the Astros back by getting J.R. Towles to bounce back to the pitcher, 1-3, for the inning’s second out, and then striking out pinch hitter Jason Michaels, swinging. That would be the last threat as Halladay gets Feliz to end the game in the bottom of the ninth with a pop up to Chase Utley for the final out.
Roy Halladay picks up the win as he pitches a complete game, giving up an unearned run on seven hits, as he strikes out eight. His record is now 2-0 with a reduced ERA of 0.56. Roy Oswalt took the lost as he pitches six innings, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks, while he strikes out eight. His record is now 0-2 with an ERA of 3.75. Jeff Fulchino, Tim Byrdak and Brandon Lyon combine for three shut out innings, giving up only one hit (Fulchino), while striking out two Phils (Fulchino and Byrdak, one each).
The Phils’ offense had only six hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins leading the team with two hits, a solo home run and a single, knocking in a run. Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino and Roy Halladay had the other foru Phils’ hits, with Utley and Ibanez’s hits being doubles. Carlos Ruiz knocked in the other Phils’ run with an RBI ground out.
The Phils (5-1, 1st East) start a six games home stand with a three games series against the Nationals (3-3, 4th East). The first game of the three-games set, being played at Citizens Bank Park, is already in progress. The Phils send to the mound Cole Hamels (1-0, 3.60), who is coming off a win against these same Nats on April 7, as he pitched five innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on five hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Phils’ 8-4 win. He hopes to improve on that outing, giving the Phils a chance to win their home opener. He will be opposed by Jason Marquis (0-1, 13.50), who is coming off a lost to the Phils, also on April 7, as he lasted only four innings, giving up six runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out only two, in the Nats’ 8-4 lost. He hopes to do better against this same Phils squad. The Phils plan to win their home opener, and to increase their winning streak to four games.
A ninth-inning rally falls short as the Phils lose to the Astros, 5-3. They will now play the Marlins for three games as they try to get past the Dodgers for the best record in the National League for home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Astros took a quick 2-0 lead in the first as, with two men on, and with one man out, Lance Berkman hits a two-run double, scoring Kazuo Matsui, who had earlier singled, and then went to second as Miguel Tejada reached base on catcher’s interference, and Tejada, who had gotten on base on Paul Bako’s catcher’s interference-error. The Phils would cut the lead in half in the fifth as, with the bases loaded, via a double by Ben Francisco, an infield single by Jimmy Rollins, which sent Francisco to third, and a walk to Ryan Howard, which moved Rollins to second, and with two men out, when Raul Ibanez hit an infield single, scoring Francisco, making it a 2-1 Astros’ lead, while moving Rollins to third, and Howard up to second. The Astros increased their lead in the sixth as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Tejada hits a two-run home run, his fourteenth home run of the season, scoring Matsui, who had just walked. The Phils tried to rally in the ninth. With two men on, and with two out, Pedro Feliz hits a two-run double, scoring Matt Stairs, who had earlier received a pinch hit walk, and then went to third on Jayson Werth’s single, and Werth, who had just singled, and then moved up to second on defensive indifference, making it a 5-3 Astros’ lead. Pinch hitter Andy Tracy then followed with a pinch single, sending Feliz to third, bringing up the winning run to the plate. But, that would be it as pinch hitter Miguel Cairo hits the first pitch deep into center field for the final out.
Cliff Lee took the lost as he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs, three of which were earned, on seven hits and a walk, as he struck out four. His record is 14-13 (7-4) with an ERA of 3.22 (3.39). Clay Condrey pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. Brett Myers pitched an inning, giving up a run on three hits. Tyler Walker and Sergio Escalona together pitched two 1-2-3 innings, striking out a batter between them (Walker). Felipe Paulino got the win as he pitched five innings, giving up just one run on six hits and three walks, as he struck out five. His record is now 3-11 with an ERA of 6.27. Jeff Fulchino recorded his twelfth hold as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit and a walk, while striking out a batter. Wesley Wright and LaTroy Hawkins combined for two scoreless innings, giving up three hits (Wright (1), Hawkins (2)), while striking out 2 batters (Hawkins). Jose Valverde pitched an inning, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk.
The Phils had thirteen hits in the game, with Ben Francisco leading the team with three hits, with two of them being doubles, as he raised his average to .257 (.281). He was followed by Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz, who had two hits each, with one of Feliz’s hits being a two-run double. Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, Paul Bako, Miguel Cairo and pinch hitter Andy Tracy had the other six Phils’ hit, with Ibanez’s hit knocking in the Phils’ other run. The Phils were once again unable to knock in runs, mainly because they could not string together their hits.
The Phils (92-67, 1st) will play their final home stand of the regular season with a three-games series with the pesky Marlins (85-74, 3rd). The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (12-7, 3.95), who is coming off a win against the Brewers on September 27, where he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and four walks, while striking out four, in the Phils’ 6-5 win. He will be trying to win his thirteenth start, which would place him as the team leader in that category. The Marlins will counter with Rick VandenHurk (2-2, 4.44), who is coming off a no-decision against the Phils on September 23, when he went six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out five, in the Marlins’ 7-6 win. He will be trying for his third win of the season. The Phils will once again try to add another win as they now try to get the best record in the NL to have home field advantage during the playoffs.
The Phils’ magic number is now down to one as their offense wakes up long enough to defeat the Astros, 7-4, while the Marlins hold on to defeat the Braves. The Phils will be looking to clinch their third straight NL Eastern Division title tonight behind veteran pitcher Pedro Martinez.
The Astros took an early 1-0 lead in the third as, with two men out, Lance Berkman hits a solo home run, his twenty-fifth home run of the season. The Phils would tie the game up at one-all in their half of the third as, with one man on, and with one man out, Jimmy Rollins hits an RBI double, knocking in Paul Bako, who had earlier walked, and had moved up to second on Phils’ starter J.A. Happ’s sacrifice bunt. The Phils then took the lead in the fourth as, with the bases loaded, via singles by Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez, and a walk to Jayson Werth, which sent Howard to third and Ibanez to second, with nobody out, Pedro Feliz hits a grand slam home run, his twelfth home run of the season, his seventh career grand slam, and the eleventh grand slam hit by the Phils this season, making it a 5-1 Phils’ lead. The Astros would get a run back in the fifth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Carlos Lee hits an RBI single, knocking in Miguel Tejada, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second when Berkman reached base on catcher’s interference, cutting the Phils’ lead to 5-2, while sending Berkman, who had went to first on catcher’s interference, moved up to second. The Phils increased their lead in their half of the fifth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Werth hits a two-run home run, his thirty-fifth home run of the year, scoring Ibanez, who had earlier walked, giving the Phils a 7-2 lead. In the sixth, the Astros would get those two runs back as, with a man on, and with two outs, Kazuo Matsui hits a two-run home run, his ninth home run of the season, scoring J.R. Towles, who had earlier doubled, making it a 7-4 Phils’ lead. But that would be the final score, as Jamie Moyer would come in to hold down the fort for an inning and a third, and then Ryan Madson would come in to pitch for two innings, recording his tenth save of the season, as he struck out Hunter Pence to end the game.
J.A. Happ got the win as he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs, only three of which were earned, on nine hits and a walk, while striking out six. His record is now 12-4 with a 2.85 ERA. Jamie Moyer recorded his first hold as he pitched an inning and a third of scoreless relief, giving up only a walk, while he struck out one. Ryan Madson collected his tenth save of the year as he pitched two innings of shut out ball, giving up just two hits, as he struck out two. Wilton Lopez took the lost as he pitched three and two-thirds innings, giving up five runs on six hits and two walks, as he struck out two. His record is now 0-1 with a 9.42 ERA. Wesley Wright pitched one and a third innings, giving up two runs on a hit and a walk, while he struck out two. Chad Paronto, Jeff Fulchino and Samuel Gervacio combined to keep the Phils off the board for three innings, giving up only one hit (Paronto), while striking out two batters (Fulchino (1), Gervacio (1)).
The Phils had eight hits in the game, with both Jimmy Rollins and Jayson Werth leading the way with two hits each, with one of Rollins’ hits being an RBI double, while one of Werth’s hits was a two-run home run. Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, Pedro Feliz and Paul Bako had the other four Phils’ hits, with Feliz’s hit being a grand slam home run, which put the Phils ahead for good. The Phils’ offense will be trying to break the game open early tonight to finally end the pennant race.
The Phils (91-66, 1st East) continue their four-game set with the Astros (73-84, 5th Central) with a night game. The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern and will be played at Citizens Bank Park. The Phils will send to the mound Pedro Martinez (5-1, 3.32), who is coming off a neck injury. His last start was a lost against the Braves on September 19, when he went only three innings because of tightness in his neck, as he gave up three runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out one, in the Phils’ 6-4 lost. Martinez will be trying to pitch the Phils into the playoffs tonight. The Astros will counter with Brian Moehler (8-11, 5.21), who is coming off a lost against the Reds on September 25, as he pitched two and a third innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out only two, in the Astros’ 10-4 lost. He will try to hold off the clinching party for at least one more night. The Phils will be trying to clinch their third straight NL Eastern Division crown tonight, so that they can use the final four games to set things up for the Divisional Series.