Tagged: Lance Berkman

The Phils split the four-games series as their ninth inning rally fall short as they lose to the Astros, 5-3.

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.  

Threepeat!!!!: The Phils win their third straight Eastern Division title.

For the second time in the franchise’s long history, the Phils have won their third straight NL Eastern Division title, thanks to the Marlins’ 5-4 defeat of the Braves in Atlanta, while the Phils crushed the Astros in Citizens Bank Park, 10-3.

The Astros took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as, with the bases loaded, via singles to Miguel Tejada, Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee, and with two men out, Hunter Pence received an RBI walk, forcing in Tejada, while moving up a base both Berkman and Lee. The Phillies would tie the game up at one-all in their half of the first as, with one man on, and with one man out, Chase Utley hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier doubled, and then went to third on Shane Victorino’s sacrifice bunt, 1-3. The Astros retook the lead in the second as J.R. Towles hits a lead-off home run, after the umpires had corrected their earlier ruling that the ball had stayed in the park via instant replay, his first home run of the season, giving the Astros a 2-1 lead. The Astros added to their lead in the fourth as Towles hits another lead-off home run, his second home run of the night, and of the season, making it a 3-1 Astros’ lead. The Phils then struck back in their half of the fourth. With two men on, and with nobody out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI single, scoring Victorino, who had earlier singled, and then stole second base, making it a 3-2 Astros’ lead, while sending Utley, who had just walked, to third base. The next batter, Raul Ibanez, then hits a grounder to the Astros’ starter Brian Moehler. Moehler immediately threw to second base, hoping to start a double play. Unfortunately, there was no one covering second, as the ball sails into center field, allowing Utley to score, tying the game at three-all, and sending Howard to third, while Ibanez would end up being safe at second on the fielder’s choice-throwing error. Jayson Werth then followed with a ground out RBI, 6-3, for the inning’s first out, as Howard scored, giving the Phillies a 4-3 lead, while sending Ibanez on to third. Pedro Feliz then followed with an RBI double, knocking in Ibanez, making it a 5-3 Phils’ lead. The Phils added to their lead in the fifth as, with a runner on third, and with nobody out, Victorino hits an RBI triple, knocking in Rollins, who had earlier tripled, giving the Phillies a 6-3 lead. Three batters later, now with two men on, as Howard was intentionally walked, and with one out, Ibanez hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Victorino, making it a 7-3 Phils’ lead. The Phillies would make it 8-3 in the sixth as, with a runner on base, and with nobody out, Carlos Ruiz hits an RBI double, knocking in Feliz, who had earlier singled, before being thrown at third trying to stretched his double into a triple, 9-6-5. The Phils then scored one last time in the seventh as, with a man on base, and with two men out, Ibanez hits a two-run home run, his thirty-fourth home run of the season, scoring Howard, who had just walked, giving the Phils a 10-3 lead. In the ninth, after Kyle Kendrick, the game winner, had pitched three shut out innings in relief of Phils’ starter Pedro Martinez, and Chad Durbin had pitched one scoreless inning, the Phils sent Scott Eyre to the mound to pitch his first game in several weeks. Eyre started the inning off by getting Michael Bourn to fly out to center for the first out. He then got Tejada to fly out to center for the inning’s second out. Meanwhile, in Atlanta, the Marlins were holding on to a 5-4 lead, with the bases loaded. After Brendan Donnelly was brought into the game to face Martin Prado, he threw a first pitch ball that got past Marlins’ catcher Ronny Paulino. But, the ball hit the backstop and came back to Paulino, catching Matt Diaz off third base. Paulino threw a strike to the Marlins’ third baseman Wes Helms, who applied the tag on a diving Diaz for the final out, giving the Marlins’ the win, and the Phils’ the pennant. Back in Philly, Charlie Manuel had come to the mound, taking out Eyre and bringing in Brad Lidge to record the final out. Which Lidge would do with one pitch as Berkman grounded out to Howard, three-unassisted, for the final out.

Pedro Martinez received a no-decision as he went four innings, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk, as he struck out two. Kyle Kendrick got the win as he pitched three scoreless innings, giving up only two hits, while striking out three batters. His record is now 3-1 with a 2.66 ERA. Chad Durbin pitched a scoreless inning, giving up only a walk. Scott Eyre pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting two fly outs. Brad Lidge pitched a third of an inning, getting the final out. Brian Moehler took the lost as he went four and a third innings, giving up seven runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out one. His record is now 8-12 with a 5.47 ERA. Wesley Wright pitched two-thirds of an inning. Samuel Gervacio pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out one. Tim Byrdak pitched an inning, giving up two runs on one hit and two walks. Jose Valverde pitched a scoreless inning, walking a batter.

The Phils had nine hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Pedro Feliz leading the team with two hits each, with both of Rollins’ hits being for extra bases, a double and a triple, scoring two runs, while one of Victorino’s hits was a triple, as he knocked in a run, while one of Feliz’s hits was a double, as he also knocked in a run. Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez and Carlos Ruiz had the other three Phils’ hits, with Ibanez’s hits being a two-run home run, as he knocked in three runs, while Ruiz’s hit was a double, knocking in a run. Chase Utley, Howard and Jayson Werth knocked in the other three Phils’ RBIs. The Phils’ offense came out swinging, finally knocking around Moehler in the fourth. With the clinching, Charlie Manuel will be giving some of his regulars a well needed rest, while trying to see if he can lead the Phils to the best record in the National League so that they can get home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Phils (92-66, 1st East) will conclude their four-games home stand with the Astros (73-85, 5th Central) with a night game. The game will start tonight at 7:05 pm Eastern and will be played at Citizens Bank Park. The Phils expected starter will be Cliff Lee (14-12 (7-3),  3.19 (3.28)), who is coming off a lost against the Brewers on September 25, where he went six innings, giving up seven runs on nine hits, while striking out six, in the Phils’ 8-4 lost. He will be trying to recapture his form when he first came to the Phils before the July trade deadline. The Astros will counter with Felipe Paulino (2-11, 6.51), who is coming off a lost to the Reds on September 26, as he went five innings, giving up eight runs on nine hits and four walks, while striking out three, in the Astros’ 10-4 lost. He will be trying to keep from being hit hard by the Phils. The Phils will be trying to balance resting some of their starters while at the same time trying to see if they can establish their post-season form.

Almost back into 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.

Offense helps Eaton win his first game of the season, Phils trails Marlins by 1/2 game.

The Phillies’ offense was only able to get six hits during last night’s game, but they were able to make them all count as they defeated the Rockies, 6-1, giving Adam Eaton his first win of the year. The Phillies would score first when, with the bases loaded, and two outs, Geoff Jenkins would take the walk, scoring Shane Victornio who has gotten on base earlier with a single. The Rockies would tie the game in the top of the third, when Todd Helton hits a RBI single to left, scoring Willy Taveras. But, after Pat Burrell has thrown the ball back into the infield, the Phils would catch Helton overrunning first base, and get him into a run down, Jimmy Rollins to Chase Utley to Ryan Howard, who would then throw the ball home when he sees Seth Smith trying to score on the play. Howard’s perfect throw would nail Smith out at home plate, as Carlos Ruiz puts on the tag, keeping the score tied at one to one. The Phillies would then go to work in the fifth. After Greg Reynolds has walked both Rollins and Victorino, he would give up a three-runs home run to Utley, his seventeenth of the year, scoring both Rollins and Victorino, giving the Phils back the lead, 4-1. Three batters later, with Howard on first, via another walk, and with one out, Reynolds would give up another home run, this time to Jenkins, his fourth of the season, scoring Howard, to make it a 6-1 Phillies’ lead. That would be the ballgame, as the Phillies’ bullpen, after relieving Eaton in the seventh, would keep the now very frustrated Rockies from being able to score during the last three innings.

Adam Eaton gets the win, as he would go six innings of very aggressive pitching, giving up only one earned runs on four scattered hits, while striking out four and walking only one. His record is now 1-3 with a 4.99 ERA. Ryan Madson would pitch one and one-third innings of relief, giving up no runs on two hits. J.C. Romero would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Chad Durbin would pitch the ninth, giving up no runs on two hits. Greg Reynolds took the lost, pitching five and two-thirds innings as he gives up six earned runs on five hits, while walking eight Phils, four of whom would later score. He is now 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA. Jason Grilli would pitch one and one-third innings, giving up no runs on no hits. Matt Herges would pitch one inning, giving up no runs on one hits.

With the win, the Phillies have completed their second series sweep of the year, with both of them coming at the expense of the Rockies. The Phillies have, in fact, swept their season series with the Rockies and have swept the Rockies for the first time since they have joined the Majors back in 1993.

The Phillies have now won four games in a row for the first time this season, while also being seven wins over .500 for the first time this year. With the six runs that they have scored last night, the Phillies have now scored seventy-three runs in their last eight games, as well as winning seven of their last nine games. During their last four games, Chase Utley has knocked in thirteen RBIs, including his career high six RBIs on Monday night, tying him for first place in RBIs with Lance Berkman of the Astros, while his home run puts him back into first place in home runs with seventeen, over both Berkman and Dan Uggla of the Marlins, both with sixteen home runs. Utley is also among the league leaders in total bases (2nd), runs scored (4th), hits (7th), doubles (8th-T) and slugging percentage (4th), while he is 15th in batting average. Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell are also among the league leaders in several offensive categories. Howard is among the leaders in home runs (5th-T), RBIs (8th-T), runs scored (10th-T) and walks (9th), while Burrell is among the leaders in home runs (7th-T), RBIs (18th-T), doubles (13-T), walks (2nd) and slugging percentage (7th). As a team, the Phillies are right now first in home runs (79), RBIs (284), total bases (874) and slugging percentage (.457), are second in runs scored (293), third in hits (511) and doubles (114), fourth in walks (203) and team on-base percentage (.341) and fifth in team batting average (.267). They are also seventh in stolen bases (38). 

The Phillies presently have the fifth best record in the National League at 31-24 with a .564 winning percentage. Their pitching staff is second overall in innings pitched (490.0), while sixth in team ERA (3.99) and their relief core is still leading the league in ERA (2.81), while it is seventh in saves (14), has given up the third least number of hits (146), the least runs (56), the least earned runs (52), the least home runs given up (10), and is tied with the Padres for the least hit batters (3).

The win puts the Phils a half game behind the now cooling Marlins, who have lost their game with the Mets in extra-innings, 7-6. The Phillies are now two games ahead of the Braves, who have lost their game with the Brewers, 1-0, as their road problems continue. The Phillies are still four games ahead of the fourth place Mets. As the Phillies and Marlins take the day off, the Braves will conclude their series with the Brewers, now in the top of the fifth inning, with the Braves winning, while the Mets will begin a four games series at home with the Dodgers.

The Phillies will start a three games home stand with the Florida Marlins (30-22) tomorrow night. The first game of the series will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern at Citizens Bank Park. The Phils’ starting pitcher will be Brett Myers (2-6, 5.79), who is coming off of his fourth straight lost, this time at the hands of the Astros on May 24, where he pitched six innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits, in the Phils’ 4-3 lost. Myers will be looking to get back to his winning ways, while hoping that the offense will give him some much needed runs support. The Marlins will be sending to the mound Mark Hendrickson (7-2, 4.14), who is coming off one of his worst starts, in spite of winning the game. He would go five innings against the Giants on May 25, giving up five earned runs on nine hits, in the Marlins’ 8-6 win, in the first game of a makeup doubleheader. He will be going for his eighth win of the season, while hoping that the Phillies’ bat won’t be aiming to up his ERA. The Phillies will be trying to win the weekend series with the Marlins so that they can regain the lead in the National League East, while hoping that the Braves and Mets will lose ground during their series at Cincinnati and against the Dodgers, respectively. 

Edit: The Braves have just won their game against the Brewers, 8-1. So the Phillies are now ahead of third place Atlanta by a game and a half as the Braves head to Cincinnati to play the Reds.

The Phillies leave Houston with a split as they crush the Astros, 15-6.

The Phillies end up with a series spilt in Houston as they crush the Astros in the final game of their four games series, 15-6. Houston would start the scoring off in the bottom of the first, when, with two outs, Carlos Lee hits a three-runs home run off of Phils’ starter Cole Hamels, for his eleventh home run of the year, scoring Miguel Tejada and Lance Berkman, who have both gotten on base with singles, making it 3-0 Astros. These would be the first earned runs given up by Hamels in nineteen and two-thirds innings. The Phils would cut the lead down to 3-2 in the second on Geoff Jenkins two-runs home run, his third of the season, scoring Pat Burrell, who has earlier walked. The Phillies would tie the game up in the third on a sacrifice fly by Chase Utley, scoring Hamels, who has earlier singled. The Astros would retake the lead in their half of the third as Berkman hits a RBI single off of Hamels, scoring Michael Bourn, who has earlier reached base on a walk. The Astros then increased their lead to 5-3, when Tejada, who was safe on a force out, would score on a Carlos Lee ground out, short to first. The Phils would then get a run back in the fourth when Hamels singles in Carlos Ruiz, who has earlier doubled. Houston would then make it 6-4 in their half of the fourth as Ty Wigginton, who has doubled earlier, would score on a Bourn force out. After both starters are taken out by the top of the sixth inning, the Phillies would then open up the flood gates to score eleven runs in two straight innings. First, in the sixth, Burrell would get the ball rolling by hitting a solo home run off of Fernando Nieve, his thirteenth home run of the year, making it a 6-5 Astros’ lead. Jenkins and Pedro Feliz would then follow with a single and a double, putting runners on second and third with nobody out. Ruiz would then follow with a single, scoring Jenkins and moving Feliz to third, tying the score at six all. After Wesley Wright would come in to pitch in relief of Nieve, he would walk pitch hitter Eric Bruntlett to load the bases with Phils. Jimmy Rollins then hits a ground out, second to first, which would score Feliz, giving the Phils the lead at 7-6, while moving Ruiz to third, and Bruntlett to second, whose smart base running would enable him to get to second base safely. Now with one out, Shane Victorino would hit a double to left field, scoring both Ruiz and Bruntlett, increasing the Phils’ lead to 9-6. That would be how the inning would end as Wright would get Utley to ground out and Ryan Howard to fly out. After J.C. Romero, who was pitching in relief of Rudy Seanez, puts down the Astros in their half of the sixth, the Phillies would continue their scoring in the seventh. Burrell would start things off by hitting a double off of Dave Borkowski, who was pitching in relief of Wright. Jenkins would follow with a single, moving Burrell to third. After So Taguchi pinch runs for Burrell, Feliz would single him home, making the score 10-6 Phils, while moving Jenkins up to second base. Ruiz would then strike out trying to bunt the runners up a base. Greg Dobbs, who was pinch hitting for Romero, would hit a triple, scoring both Jenkins and Feliz, making it 12-6 Phils. After Rollins grounds out, Victorino would hit a RBI single, knocking in Dobbs. Utley would then follow with his fifteenth home run of the year, a two-runs blast that would make the score 15-6 Phillies. Howard would then end the inning by striking out. After that massive two innings barrage, the Phillies bullpen would take over, as Ryan Madson would pitch two innings and Clay Condrey would pitch one, and between them give up no runs on one hit, preserving the win.

Cole Hamels would get a no-decision as he would be hit hard by the Astros, lasting only four innings as he gives up all six of Houston’s runs, all earned, on seven hits. Rudy Seanez would get the win, as he goes one full inning, giving up no runs on one hit. His record is now 3-3 with a 2.75 ERA. J.C. Romero would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Ryan Madson would pitch two innings, giving up no runs on one hit. Clay Condrey would go one inning, giving no runs on no hits. Astros’ starter Chris Sampson would also get a no-decision, as he goes five innings, giving up four earned runs on five hits. Fernando Nieve would take the lost, as he faced four batters, getting none of them out, while giving up four earned runs on four hits. Wesley Wright would go one inning, giving up one run on one hit. Dave Borkowski would also pitch an inning, as he would be lighted up for six runs on six hits. Oscar Villarreal would pitch two innings, giving up no runs on no hits.

The Phillies will now leave Houston with a split series (2-2) and a winning road trip (4-3), with the offense punishing the ball in three of their games on the road, and missing out on victories in their middle games with Houston, while the starters in this series would seem to have run into various kinds of pitching trouble. The Phillies (28-24) will now come home for a ten games home stand, which will start tomorrow night with the first of three games against the 2007 National League Champions Colorado Rockies (20-30, 3rd National League West). The game will start at Citizens Bank Park at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Jamie Moyer (4-3, 4.37), who is coming off of a win against the Nationals on May 21, where he went six innings, giving up no runs on seven hits, in the Phils’ 12-2 blow out of the Nationals. Moyer has won his last two starts, and hopes to improve his record, while trying to give the bullpen a rest. The Rockies will oppose him with Jorge DeLaRosa (1-2, 7.78), who is coming off of a no-decision against the Giants on May 19, where he pitched five and one-third innings, giving up three runs, two of which were earned, on four hits, in the Rockies’ 4-3 win. DeLaRosa has not have a good year so far this season, as he has given up four or more earned runs in his two loses. He hopes to even his record, while the Phillies’ batters hope to take advantage of his wildness.

The Phils are presently two games behind the Marlins, who have earlier defeated the Giants in the first game of their doubleheader, and are at the moment trailing the Giants 4-2 in the second game. They are now trailing the Braves by .002 percentage points as the Braves have lost their game with the Diamondbacks. The Braves and the Phils are once again leading the Mets by two games as the Mets have just lost their game with the Rockies.

The Phils’ fall short once again as Myers continues to disappoint.

For the second night in a row, a Phillies ninth inning rally falls short as the Phillies, for the second straight night, lose to the Astros, 4-3. The Phillies would score the game’s first run in the top of the first on a RBI double by Ryan Howard, knocking in Shane Victorino, who has earlier reached base on first baseman Lance Berkman’s fielding error. The Astros would take the lead in the bottom of the first, as Phillies’ starter Brett Myers gives up a RBI double to Carlos Lee, knocking in Michael Bourn, who has reached base earlier on a single, and Berkman, who has earlier walked, making it 2-1 Astros. The Phillies would regain the lead in the third, as Howard hits a two run homer off of Astros’ starter Brian Moehler, his fourteenth home run of the year, giving the Phils a 3-2 lead. The Astros would then tie it in the bottom of the fifth, as Lee hits a RBI single to left, scoring Bourn, who has earlier doubled. But, when Berkman tires to score after Pat Burrell’s throw gets away from Chase Utley, he would be thrown out at home plate by Ryan Howard’s throw to Chris Coste, who tags out Berkman for the final out of the inning, keeping the score tied at 3-3. The Astros would then retake the lead in the sixth, as Myers gives up a RBI single to pitch hitter Mark Loretta, scoring Ty Wigginton, who has earlier singled, making it 4-3 Astros. The game would stay that way until the ninth, when the Phillies attempted a late inning rally. With Doug Brocail pitching, Pedro Feliz and Chris Coste would both reach base on singles. After Carlos Ruiz would go in to pinch run for Coste, Brocail would committ a throwing error as he throws the ball into center field as he attempts to pick off Feliz at second, sending Feliz and Ruiz to third and second. Brocail would then get pinch hitter Greg Dobbs to fly out, with neither runner advancing. After intentionally walking Jimmy Rollins, Brocail would face Victorino with the bases loaded. After the count goes to 2-0, Victorino would hit a fly ball to left. Darin Erstad would make the catch for out number two. Erstad would then throw towards home as Feliz attempts to score to tie the game. Erstad’s throw would beat Feliz to the plate, where he is tagged out by catcher Brad Asmus for the final out, preserving the game for the Astros, and giving Brocail his second save of the season.

Brett Myers would take the lost, as he goes six innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits. His record is now 2-6 with a 5.79 ERA. The main question now is what is the matter with Myers as he doesn’t seem to be able to hold leads when they are given to him, or to throw a good pitch at the right moment to get himself out of jams. Chad Durbin would pitch two innings of relief, giving up no runs on two hits. Brian Moehler records the win, as he also goes six innings, giving up three runs, two of which were earned, on four hits. Tim Byrdak would pitch one and two-thirds innings of relief, giving up no runs on one hit. Oscar Villarreal would pitch to only one batter in the eighth, giving up no runs on no hits. Wesley Wright would go one-third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Doug Brocail would pitch the ninth, earning his second save of the year, as he gives up no runs on two hits.

The Phillies (27-24) will conclude their trip to Houston (29-22, 3rd National League Central) with an afternoon game at Minute Maid Park, which is already in progress. The Phillies’ starting pitcher is Cole Hamels (5-3, 2.61). The Astros’ starter is Chris Sampson (3-3, 5.91). The Phils’ hope to get a win today to get a series spilt and head back home to Philadelphia with a winning road trip.

The Phils are now trailing the Marlins by two games, thanks to their lost, as the Marlins were rained out last night. Today they are playing a twinbill with the Giants, with the Marlins presently leading in the first game, 7-6. The Phils are now a game behind the second place Braves, who are presently trailing the Diamondbacks 6-3. They are two games ahead of the Mets, who are tied with the Rockies 0-0.

The Phillies’ ninth inning rally comes up short as Eaton loses another start.

The Phillies’ offense would come up short in the ninth inning as they lose to the Houston Astros, 4-3, wasting a good effort by Adam Eaton. The Phils would score first, as Pat Burrell hits a solo home run off of Astros’ starter Brandon Backe in the second inning, his twelfth home run of the year. That would be the score until the bottom of the fifth inning, as Eaton and Backe would keep both teams quiet, Backe with his slow curve and Eaton with generally good pitching. But then, in the Astros’ fifth, Eaton would give up a solo shot to Hunter Pence, for his sixth home run of the year, tying the score at one. The Astros would later threathen to take the lead by getting two men on base with one out, but Eaton would get out of the inning by getting Michael Bourn to hit into a 6-4-3 double play. The score would remain tie until the bottom of the seventh, when Pence, leading off the inning, would hit a 3-0 fastball out of the ballpark for his second home run of the night off of Eaton, his seventh home run of the year, to give the Astros a 2-1 lead. The Astros would then increase their lead to 3-1 on a Bourn single, scoring J.R. Towles, who has earlier singled. The Astros would add another run in the eighth when Carlos Lee hit a sacrifice fly off of Ryan Madson, scoring Lance Berkman, who has earlier tripled. The Phillies would try to rally back in the ninth against Astros’ closer Jose Valverde. Burrell would start the rally off with a double to center field. After moving to third on a ground out, Burrell would score on a line drive single by Pedro Feliz off of Valverde’s face, making the score 4-2 Astros. After the Astros’ trainer have taken several minutes to look Valverde over to make sure that he could continue to pitch, Carlos Ruiz would hit a single, moving Feliz to second base. After Eric Bruntlett goes in to pinch run for Ruiz, Valverde would strike out pinch hitter Chris Coste for the second out. Jimmy Rollins would then hit a line drive double, scoring Feliz and sending Bruntlett, who had to dive to get out of the way of Rollins’ line drive, to third, making the score 4-3 Houston. With two men in scoring position and two out, Shane Victorino would come to the plate. After getting the count full, Victorino would hit a fly ball to center field, ending the ballgame, as Valverde is able to nail down his fifteenth save of the year.

Adam Eaton would take the lost, as he pitches seven innings, giving up three earned runs on eight hits. His record drops to 0-3, with a ERA of 5.37. Eaton by now must be wondering what he has to do to actually win a ballgame. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning in relief, giving up an earned run on one hit. Brandon Backe would pick up the win for the Astros, as he would go seven and one-third innings, giving up only one earned run on six hits. Doug Brocail would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits as he snuffs out a Phillies’ rally in the eighth, leaving the bases loaded. Jose Valverde, in spite of being hit in the face by a line drive, would record his fifteenth save of the season as he pitches one inning, giving up two earned runs on four hits.

Despite the lost, the Phillies are still one and a half games behind the Marlins, as the fish loses their game with the Giants. They are still technically tied for second place with the Braves, .002 percentage points behind them, as the Braves were crushed in their game with the Diamondbacks. The Phils and the Braves are still leading the Mets by three games, as the Mets loses their game with the Rockies in extra-innings.

The Phillies (27-23) will continue their four games series with the Astros (28-23, 3rd National League Central) at Minute Maid Park. The game will start tonight at 7:05 pm Eastern (6:05 pm Central). The Phils’ starter will by Brett Myers (2-5, 5.76), who is coming off another lost, as he pitched six innings against the Nationals on May 19, in the Phils’ 4-0 lost, giving up only three runs on eight hits. Myers has lost four of his last five starts, with a no-decision in his other start. He’ll be looking to improve on his last start while trying to improve his record. In his previous start against the Astros, he would go seven innings, giving up only an earned run on five hits, as he picks up the win in the Phils’ 10-2 win. The Astros will send to the mound Brian Moehler (1-1, 4.76), who is coming off a lost to the Chicago Cubs on May 19, where he would pitch five innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits, in the Astros’ 7-2 lost. He will be trying to improve his record in what could be his last start in place of Wandy Rodriguez, who should be coming off the disabled list next week.

The Phils’ offense hopes to continue what they were doing on Wednesday and Thursday nights, where they scored nineteen runs on thirty hits. Although they got ten hits in last night’s game, they were only able to score three runs, thanks mainly to the slow curveballs that were being served up to them by Backe. They hope not to have similar problems with Moehler tonight.