The Phillies, behind a bunch of rookies and bench players, defeated the Nationals, 8-3, ending the 2008 regular season on a high note. They will now be facing the Brewers in the National League Divisional Series starting this coming Wednesday afternoon.
The Phillies took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as, with two men on base and one out, Eric Bruntlett, who has earlier singled and then moved to third on Tadahito Iguchi’s double, would cross the plate on Nationals’ starter Odalis Perez’s wild pitch, while Iguchi would move up to third. The Nationals would tie the game in the third, as the Phillies’ surprise starter Kyle Kendrick would give up a lead-off home run to Luke Montz, his first career home run. The Nationals would then take the lead in the fourth as, with a runner on second and no one out, Kory Casto would hit a RBI double, scoring Anderson Hernandez, who has earlier doubled, to make it 2-1 Nationals. Two batters later, with Casto now on third, after moving up on Ryan Langerhans’ ground out, 4-3, he would score on Alberto Gonzalez’s RBI single, making it 3-1 Nationals. The Phillies would strike back in their half of the fourth, as, with runners on second and third and two outs, So Taguchi would hit a two-run single, scoring Lou Marson, who has earlier singled, his first hit in the majors, and would move up to third on pinch hitter Jayson Werth’s single, who would later steal second, tying the game up at three all. Eric Bruntlett would then follow with a RBI double, knocking in Taguchi and giving the Phillies a 4-3 lead. The Phillies would add to their lead in the sixth, when, with a runner on first and two outs, Taguchi would hit a RBI triple, knocking in pinch hitter Ryan Howard, who has earlier singled to the left of the shift that most major league teams would put up against him, making it 5-3 Phillies. Then in the eighth, the Phillies would put the game away, when, with a runner on first and two outs, Marson would hit a monster two-run home run to left, his first career home run, scoring Greg Golson, who was earlier safe at first on a force play, which has wiped out Mike Cervenak, who has earlier reached base on a fielding error by Nationals’ shortstop Hernandez, giving the Phillies a 7-3 lead. Pinch hitter Matt Stairs would then follow with a solo home run to right, his thirteen home run of the year, to give the Phillies an 8-3 lead. That would be the ballgame as Clay Condrey would come in to pitch a scoreless ninth, although he would give up a walk and then a single before recording the final out of the Phillies’ 2008 regular season by getting Emilio Bonifacio to ground out, 3-1.
Kyle Kendrick, the surprise starter, would get a no-decision as he pitches four innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits. Kendrick, who is not on the Phils’ post-season roster, will now be sent down to the Florida Instructional League to rebuild his confidence in his pitches as well as being taught two more pitches to help compliment his slider, before he comes back to join the team for spring training 2009. Les Walrond would get the win as he pitches two scoreless innings, giving up two hits as he struck out four. His record is now 1-1 with a 6.10 ERA. J.A. Happ would pitch one and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief, giving up two hits as he struck out three. Rudy Seanez would pitch a third of an inning, getting out the only batter he would face. Clay Condrey would pitch a scoreless ninth, giving up a hit and a walk. Odalis Perez would get the lost, as he is only able to pitch three and two-thirds inning, leaving the game early because of a possible injury and with the Nats not taking any chances with his career, giving up four runs, only three of which were earned, on eight hits while striking out five. His record is now 7-12 with an ERA of 4.34. Shairon Martis would pitch two innings and a third, giving up an earned run on two hits while striking out three. Marco Estrada would pitch two innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on three hits.
The Phillies (92-70) would end the year with a sweep of the Nationals, winning the third game of the series with rookies and bench players, although two of the regulars, Jayson Werth and Ryan Howard would both come up to bat as pinch hitters, both getting singles and both scoring. Among the bench players, So Taguchi would lead the way by going 3 for 5, getting a triple, knocking in three runs while scoring one. Eric Bruntlett and Tadahito Iguchi would be next as they each went two for five, with Bruntlett knocking in a run and scoring one. Geoff Jenkins would be the other bench player who would get a hit. The only one among the rookies with a good day would be Lou Marson, who would go 2 for 4, getting his first major league career hit, a single, score his first run, knock in his first RBI and hit his first home run of his career, all in the same game. He also threw out his first base stealer of his career, as he caught the Nationals’ Emilio Bonifacio when he overslid second base on a steal attempt, tagged out by Iguchi when he tried to put his foot back on the bag. Also, all three pinch hitters that the Phillies would send up to the plate would hit safely as Matt Stairs would add a solo home run to Werth and Ryan’s singles. The victory gives the Phillies the second best record in the National League, beind the Central Division Champions Chicago Cubs, and the fifth in the majors, behind the American League Western Division Chmpions Los Angeles Angles, the American League Eastern Division Champions Tampa Bay Rays and the American League Wild Card Winner and Current World Champions Boston Red Sox.
The Phillies ended the season in first place in the National League Eastern Division, with a record of 92-70 for a winning percentage of .568, ending twelve wins over .500. They ended up being three games ahead of the Mets, who ended up with a record of 89-73 .559, seven and a half games ahead of the Marlins, who ended up with a record of 84-77 .522, twenty games ahead of the Braves, who ended up with a record of 72-90 .444 and thirty-two and a half games ahead of the Nationals, who ended up with a record of 59-102 .366.
The Phillies will now have today and tomorrow to rest up before they get ready to face the Wild Card Winner Milwaukee Brewers for a five games National League Divisional Series, which will start in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
The Phillies seven games winning streak is snapped as they dropped a wild one to the presently hot Marlins, 14-8. With the Mets’ win over the Braves, the Phils are now a half game out of first in the National League East. Their lead in the Wild Card is now two games as the Brewers lose to the Reds.
The Phillies took a quick one run lead in the first as, with two men on, and one out, Ryan Howard would hit a sharp ground ball towards first that Marlins’ first baseman Mike Jacobs would be unable to play, becoming a fielding error, which would allow Chase Utley, who has gotten on base earlier with a walk and then went to second on Jayson Werth’s single, to score all the way from second, giving the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead, and for Werth to go on to third. Werth would then make it a 2-0 Phillies’ lead as he would score on Marlins’ starter Josh Johnson’s wild pitch. The Marlins would then strike back on Phillies’ starter Brett Myers in their half of the first. Cameron Maybin, starting in place of the injured Hanley Ramirez, would start the inning off with an infield single. After Maybin steals second, John Baker would knock him with a RBI single, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 2-1. Jorge Cantu would follow with a single, sending Baker to second. Jacobs would then follow with a two-run double, scoring both Baker and Cantu, giving the Marlins a 3-2 lead. Dan Uggla would then hit a two-run home run, his thirty-first home run of the year, scoring Jacobs, making it 5-2 Marlins. Myers would then get out of the inning by striking out Luis Gonzalez, getting Cody Ross to fly out to left and then getting Alfredo Amezaga to ground out, 4-3. The Phillies would cut the Marlins’ lead in the second as Greg Dobbs would start off the inning by hitting a solo home run, his ninth home run of the year, to make it 5-3 Marlins. Later, with two men on, and one out, Utley would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Chris Coste, who has earlier singled, went to second on Myers’ sacrifice bunt and then would go the third on Jimmy Rollins’ single, cutting the Marlins’ lead to 5-4. Then in the fifth, the Phillies would retake the lead as Howard would hit a two-run slam to right, his major league leading forty-sixth home run of the year, scoring Utley, who has earlier singled, making it 6-5 Phillies. Myers would try to put down the Marlins in the bottom of the fifth. Sadly, he would be unable to. After getting ahead of Maybin, 0-2, Howard would be unable to make the put out on a foul ball. The next pitch, a fastball, which the announcers thought was the wrong pitch to throw at the kid since he has a hard time with off-speed stuff, like the ball that he’d just pop up, would be hit into right for a single. Maybin would then steal second for his second steal of the night. Baker would then follow with a walk, putting runners on first and second. Cantu would follow him with a RBI double, scoring Maybin to tie the game at 6-6 and sending Baker to third. Myers would then intentionally walk Jacobs to load the bases. The next batter, Uggla, would then single to left, scoring Baker, to give the Marlins a 7-6 lead, while moving both Cantu and Jacobs up a base, as the bases remain loaded. That would be it for Myers as Charlie Manuel would come out of the dugout and replace him with Rudy Seanez. Seanez would get Gonzalez to hit into a force out, cutting down Uggla at second, while allowing Cantu to score, making it 8-6 Marlins, while Jacobs would move up to third. Ross would then pop up to Howard for the inning’s second out. It would seem that the Phillies would get out of the inning with manageable damage, but it was not to be as Amezaga would hit a surprising three-run home run to right, his third home run of the year, scoring both Jacobs and Gonzalez to give the Marlins an 11-6 lead. The inning would finally end when pinch hitter Gaby Sanchez, batting for Johnson, would ground out, 6-3. The Marlins would add to their lead in the sixth as, with runners on second and third, and one man out, Jacobs would hit a two-run single to right, scoring Maybin, who has earlier singled, his fourth hit of the night, moved to second on Baker’s walk and then moved to third on Les Walrond’s wild pitch, and Baker, who has walked and has moved up to second on the wild pitch, making it 13-6 Marlins. But Jacobs would then be thrown out by Werth when he tried to make it a double, being tagged by Rollins for the inning’s second out. The Phillies would get a run back in the seventh as, with two men on and one out, Howard would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Rollins who has earlier singled, would move to second on Utley’s single and was the lead runner on a double steal with Utley as Werth strke out for the inning’s first out, making it 13-7 Marlins. The Phillies would cut it down further in the eighth as Shane Victronio would hit a lead-off home run, his thirteenth home run of the year, cutting the Marlins’ lead down to 13-8. But the Marlins would get that run back as, with two men out, Cantu would hit a solo home run, his twenty-ninth home run of the year, making it 14-8 Marlins. That would end up being the final score as Joe Nelson would put the Phillies down in the ninth.
Brett Myers would take the lost, being able to go only four innings, plus five batters, as he would give up ten earned runs on nine hits and two walks while strking out only three. His record has now dropped to 10-12, while his ERA went up to 4.46. Rudy Seanez would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Les Walrond would go two innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits, walking a batter while striking out one. Kyle Kendrick, pitching in his first game since his blow up against these same Marlins last week, would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Josh Johnson would get the win, as he pitched five innings, giving up six runs, five of which were earned, on seven hits, as he struck out six. His record is now 6-1 with an ERA of 3.65. Mark Hendrickson would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Andrew Miller would pitch an inning, plus one batter, giving up two earned runs on one hit, walking two while striking out one. Logan Kensing would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up just one hit. Arthur Rhodes would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Joe Nelson would pitch a scorless ninth inning, giving up no hits, while walking a batter and striking out the side.
Brett Myers ran into the buzzsaw of the Marlins’ bat, getting hit hard in both the first and fifth inning, as he would give up hits to the first five Marlins’ batters in the first, ending with Dan Uggla’s two-run home run, and then being unable to get anyone out in the fifth, giving up two singles, a double and two walks, one of which was intentional, before being taken out. Myers didn’t seem to have it last night, although he might not have gotten bombed in the fifth if he has thrown off-speed pitches to Cameron Maybin, instead of the fastball that the rookie would hit off of him to right for a single, as the rookie seems to like hitting fastballs and not off-speed stuff. Whether it was Myers’ idea, or catcher Chris Coste’s, to throw it in that 0-2 situation, I have no idea, but it would end up leading into a lot of trouble right after the Phillies have just regained the lead. Sigh. Anyway, the team needs to forget about this game and just get back to doing what they have been doing during their seven games winning streak: scoring early, scoring often and keeping the opposition from doing the same to them. This means that both Joe Blanton and Jamie Moyer will have to do their best to make sure that the young Marlins’ bats don’t become their usual pesky selves, if for no other reason than to make Dan Uggla eat his words about the Marlins planning to take other teams with them if they don’t make the playoff. This team need to be kept from becoming the Colorado Rockies of ’08.
The now second place Phillies (86-68) will continue their three games series with the third place Marlins (81-72) with a night game tonight. The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (7-12 (2-0), 4.82), who is coming off a no-decision against the Brewers on September 14 in the day half of the day/night doubleheader, as he would go seven innings, giving up only three earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 7-3 win. This was only his third start in which he would go more than five innings, but it would come at a good time for the Phils. He has faced the Marlins once before, recording his second win as a Phil since the trade, as he would defeat them on September 8, going five innings, giving up four earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 8-6 win. He will be going for his second straight long start while trying to improve on his previous start against the fish, while trying to snap their nine games winning streak. His opponent will be Anibal Sanchez (2-4, 5.87), who is coming off a no-decision against the Nationals on September 14, as he went seven innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits, in the Marlins’ 8-7 win. He has faced the Phillies twice before, losing both starts, as he would go a combine total of only six and two-thirds innings, giving up eight earned runs on ten hits. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to finally defeat the Phils.
The second place Phils now trail the Mets by a half game, as they defeated the Braves to regain the lead in the East. The Phillies are ahead of the Marlins by four and a half games thanks to the lost. In the Wild Card chase, the Phillies are still leading the Brewers by two games as they lost to the Reds last night. They are ahead of both the Marlins and the Astros by four and a half games as the Astros defeated the Pirates. The Phillies will be trying to regain the lead in the East while trying to push back the challenge of the now hot Marlins while trying to bury the still slumping Brewers.
Kyle Kendrick is unable to get out of the fourth inning for his second straight start as he loses control of his pitches as the Padres defeat the Phillies, 8-3.
The Phillies would take a quick lead in the first inning off of rookie starter Chad Reineke, as, with runners on first and third, and one out, Ryan Howard would hit a ground ball to first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. After tagging first base for the second out of the inning, Gonzalez would throw home to try and get out Jayson Werth, who has earlier got on base with a walk and has gone to third on a single by Chase Utley, for a possible double play. Gonzalez’s throw would not be in time as Werth would be able to get pass the catcher, Nick Hundley, to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead, while Utley would be safe at second. Two batters later, with two men on base, Shane Victorino would hit a RBI single, scoring Utley, to make it 2-0 Phillies. The Padres would cut the Phillies’ lead to 2-1 in the third, when Brian Giles would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Jody Gerut, who has earlier doubled and has went to third on Tadahito Iguchi’s ground out, second to first. In the fourth, the Phillies would increase their lead to 3-1 as Greg Dobbs would hit a RBI double, scoring Victorino, who has earlier got on base with a single. Then, in the Padres’ half of the fourth, Kendrick would be unable to get out of the inning as his control would leave him. After walking Chase Headley to lead off the inning, he would get Hundley to ground out, third to first, which would send Headley to second. He would then get Sean Kazmar to also ground out, also third to first, for the inning’s second out, which would keep Headley at second. But, while pitching to Reineke, Kendrick would throw a wild pitch, which would send Headley over to third. Kendrick would then get the count full to Reineke before finally committing a cardinal sin among pitchers, giving up a hit to another pitcher, a single, on an excuse me swing by Reineke, that would knock in Headley, to make it 3-2 Phillies. The hit would be Reineke’s first hit in the majors while he would also drive in his first major league RBI. Gerut would then hit a pop up that would drop into left field for a single, sending Reineke to second. Kendrick would then walk Iguchi, loading the bases, despite an earlier visit from pitching coach Rich Dubee to get him to concentrate on getting him out. Kendrick would then give up a RBI double to Giles, that would clear the bases and give the Padres a 5-3 lead. After intentionally walking Gonzalez, Charlie Manuel would come out to replace Kendrick with Clay Condrey. While Dubee is in the clubhouse giving a stern lecture to Kendrick about what have went wrong during the inning, Condrey would give up a RBI single to Kevin Kouzmanoff, scoring Giles, to make it 6-3 Padres. But, the Phils would finally get out of the inning as they would trap Gonzalez between second and third before he is finally tagged out by Dobbs. The Phillies would then get shut down between the fifth and eighth innings, as they would only get a single and two walks during those four innings. The Padres would then extend their lead in the eighth, as, with two men on and two men outs, Gerut would hit a two-run double, scoring Headley, who has earlier singled, and Gonzalez, who has walked, making it 8-3 Padres. The Phillies would then be put down in the ninth by Brian Falkenborg, as they lose the fifth game of their seven games road trip.
Kyle Kendrick would take the loss, as he would only go three and two-thirds innings, giving up six earned runs on six hits. His record is now 10-7 with a 5.01 ERA. Clay Condrey would pitch one and two-thirds innings, giving up no earned runs on one hit. Scott Eyre would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Les Walrond would pitch two innings, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Chad Reineke would get his first career win as he goes five innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits. His record is now 1-0 with a ERA of 5.40. Mike Adams, Clay Hensley, Heath Bell and Brian Falkenborg would each pitch a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit (Falkenborg) between them.
The Phillies’ bat would once again go silent in the middle innings after getting three runs off of the rookie Chad Reineke, allowing him to survive a bad first inning to win the game. In fact, the Phillies have not koed a pitcher in a long while, whether a starter or a reliever. Meanwhile, Kyle Kendrick now have has two straight bad starts, not getting out of the fourth inning both time, as he lost control of his pitches, not being able to get them to go where he needed them to go. And to make things worst, both of his bad outings were seen by his father. Talk about embarrassing. Anyway, after being talken out of the game, he was shown being given a stern talking to by Rich Dubee, who obviously did not like what he was seeing from Kendrick. Hopefully, while he was sitting there listening, whatever Dubee was telling him has gotten into his head. Now that Dubee has done his bad cop bit, who is going to be the good cop? Maybe Jamie Moyer should start thinking about being a future pitching coach now by helping Kendrick with his pitching approach? It certainly couldn’t hurt.
The Phillies (65-58) will play the final game of their three games series with the Padres (48-75, 5th National League West) later tonight. The game will be played at PETCO Park and will start at 8:05 pm Eastern (5:05 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be Cole Hamels (9-8, 3.32), who is coming off a no-decision against the Dodgers on August 12, where he would pitch seven innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 4-3 lost. Hamels will for his eighth straight start be trying for his tenth win of the year, hoping that he will finally get it done this time. The Padres will counter with Cha Seung Baek (4-7, 5.20), who is coming off a lost to the Brewers on August 12, as he pitched six innings, giving up five earned runs on seven hits, in the Padres’ 5-2 lost. He will be trying to improve his record at the Phillies’ expense.
The Phillies now trail the Mets by two games while being a game and a half ahead of the Marlins. The Phillies hope to win their first series on the West Coast before coming home for a nine games home stand starting on Tuesday.
Lastly, today is my birthday. I am presently 47 years old. I’m hoping that the Phillies will give me a present of a win against the Padres. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Kyle Kendrick’s Houdini act gets panned in L.A. as the Dodgers would score seven runs off of him before they are able to hold off a Phillies’ offensive revival as the Phillies drop the series’ opener, 8-6. The Dodgers would erupt for six runs in the third off of Kendrick, who was no longer in command of his pitches. After Dodgers’ starter Derek Lowe would lead off the inning with a ground out, short to first, Matt Kemp would get on base with an infield single that almost took out Jimmy Rollins. After Kemp steals second, Andre Ethier would get on base with a walk. Kendrick would then hit Jeff Kent, loading the bases for Manny Ramirez. Ramirez would hit a two-run double, scoring Kemp and Ethier, and putting Kent on third, giving the Dodgers a quick 2-0 lead. James Loney would then follow with a two-run single, scoring both Kent and Ramirez, making it 4-0 Dodgers, while Loney would go to second on the throw to the plate. Russell Martin would follow him with a single to right, but Jayson Werth would then proceed to cut down Loney at home, tagged out by Carlos Ruiz, as he successfully blocks the plate, for the inning’s second out. Casey Blake would then follow with a two-run home run, his fourteenth home run of the year, scoring Martin, increasing the Dodgers’ lead to 6-0. The inning would finally end with Angela Berroa flying out to center. The Phillies would make the score 6-1 in the fourth as Ryan Howard would hit a RBI ground out, scoring Shane Victorino, who has earlier singled, and got to third on Chase Utley’s double. The Dodgers would get the run back in their half of the fourth, making it 7-1, when, with two men on, and one out, Kent would hit a RBI single, scoring Kemp, who has earlier singled, ran to second base as Ethier was being walked for the second time by Kendrick, and then went to third on Ruiz’s needless throwing error to second. After Kendrick walks Ramirez, Charlie Manuel would replace him with Les Walrond, who would then Houdini his way out of the inning by striking out both Loney and Martin. The Phils would make it 7-2 in the sixth as Howard would hit his second RBI ground out, this time scoring Rollins, who has singled, moved to second on Victorino’s walk and went to third on Utley’s ground out, second to first. After Walrond Houdini’s his way out of a bases loaded, one out jam in the bottom of the six by striking out Blake and getting Berroa to hit into a force out, short to second, the Phillies would get closer in the top of the seventh. Pinch hitter Geoff Jenkins would hit a RBI single, scoring Werth, who has earlier doubled and stole third, to make it 7-3 Dodgers. Rollins would then follow with a RBI triple, on a ball that right fielder Ethier would somehow missed in the lights, scoring Jenkins, to make it a 7-4 Dodgers’ lead. The Dodgers would increase their lead to 8-4 in the eighth, as, with two men on, and no one out, Loney would hit a RBI double off of Rollins’ glove, scoring Pablo Ozuna, who has singled, and sending Ramirez to third. Then Clay Condrey would perform his own Houdini stunt after intentionally walking Martin. He would get Blake to hit the ball to Rollins, who would throw home for the force out, as Ruiz would tag the plate to force out Ramirez for the inning’s first out. Condrey would then get Berroa to hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning with no further damage. The Phillies would then try to attempt a rally in the ninth. With the bases loaded and two outs, Utley would hit a two-runs single on a pop up that drops behind the shortstop Berroa, scoring Greg Dobbs, who has singled, and Ruiz, who has walked, and moving Victorino, who has also singled off of Berroa’s glove, to second, making it 8-6 Dodgers. But Howard would then end the game with a ground out, his fifth ground out of the game, second to first.
Kyle Kendrick would get the lost, as he did not have good command of his pitches in either the third or fourth innings, as he pitched three and a third innings, giving up seven earned runs on nine hits, three walks and a hit batman. His record is now 10-6 with a ERA of 4.74. Les Walrond would pitch two and two-thirds innings of relief, giving up no runs on two hits and three strike outs, as he pitched his way out of jams in both the fourth and sixth innings. Clay Condrey would pitch two innings, giving up an earned run on fifth hits. Derek Lowe would get the win as he pitches six and a third innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits. His record is now 9-10 with a 4.74 ERA. Chan Ho Park would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits. Joe Beimel would also pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Jonathan Broxton would get his sixth save of the year as he pitches an inning and a third, giving up two earned runs on three hits.
The Phillies’ offense, although rallying late in the game, would be the main contributor to Kyle Kendrick’s lost, as it would not give him any runs support early on, forcing him to try to be almost perfect in his approach, which he would proceed to lose in the third inning as the Dodgers would then proceed to hit his bad pitches, ending up with six runs in the third and a seventh run in the fourth before he would finally be mercifully taken out by Charlie Manuel. It would seems that the Phillies’ batter are starting to realize that they are not producing at the plate as they should be. But, instead of trying to relax and take the pressure off themselves, they are now trying to do too much and thereby pressing themselves to produce. Fellows, do yourselves a favor. Now that you know that things are not working out the way they should be, try to relax and not make things even worst by trying to force things to happen. The remedy that you guys need is already there, but you just won’t use it. Play some small ball for a while. Maybe just trying to make contact and moving runners along might help to get the pressure off of all of you for a while. At least I hope it will. It can’t make things any worst than it is now.
The Phillies (64-54) will continue their four games visit with their old rivals the Dodgers (59-59, 2nd National League West) with another night game at Dodgers Stadium. The game will start at 10:10 pm Eastern (7:10 pm Pacific). The Phillies will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (9-8, 3.35), who is still looking for his tenth win. He is coming off a lost to the Marlins on August 7, where he went six and a third innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on seven hits, in the Phillies’ 3-0 lost. This will be his first start against the Dodgers. He will be hoping that the Phillies will finally give him some runs support, something they have not been doing for him lately. The Dodgers will counter with Clayton Kershaw (2-3, 3.71), who is coming off a win against the Cardinals on August 7, where he pitched seven innings, giving up only an earned run on three hits, in the Dodgers’ 4-1 win. He has never faced the Phillies. He will be trying to even his record while hoping that the Phillies’ offense isn’t preparing for a big outburst.
The Phillies are still leading the Mets by two games as they’d lost a make-up game to the Pirates, and two and a half games over the Marlins as the fish lost to the Cardinals, as the Phils failed to take advantage of both teams’ loses. They now lead the Braves by nine games as the Braves had yesterday off. As the Phils continue their series with the Dodgers, the Mets will start a three games series with the Nationals in Washington, while the Cardinals will continue their three games series with the Redbirds in Miami and the Braves will start a three games series with the Cubs in Atlanta. The Phillies will be trying to regroup and try to win the series while once again hoping to either gain or hold their ground against their nearest opponents in the Eastern Division.
The Phillies waste a seven innings, one hit effort by Joe Blanton, a good effort by most of their bullpen, only to finally lose to the Pirates 2-0 in twelve innings because the offense would not be able to score a run in the last twenty-three innings. Phillies’ starter Blanton and Pirates’ starter Paul Maholm would both pitch seven innings of scoreless ball, with Blanton only giving up one hit while striking out seven Pirates and Maholm giving up five while striking out ten Phillie’ batters. Both teams’ bullpens would then take over, keeping both teams’ offenses from scoring any runs until the top of the twelfth. With Les Walrond still on the mound for his second inning of work, with a man on third, and with one out, he would give up a RBI double to Steve Pearce, scoring Ryan Doumit, who has earlier doubled and reached third on a ground out, to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead. The Pirates would increase their lead to 2-0, when, with the bases loaded and two outs, Freddy Sanchez would hit an infield single, knocking in Pearce. In the bottom half of the ninth, the Phillies would threathen with runners on first and second and one out. But the threat would end when Chase Utley hit a fly ball to left field that would be caught by a sliding Brandon Moss who would then get up and throw to first to double up Shane Victorino, as the Phils would fail to score for the twenty-third straight inning.
Joe Blanton would get a no-decision as he pitches seven scoreless innings, giving up only one hit, while striking out seven Bucos. Chad Durbin, J.C. Romero and Brad Lidge would combine to pitch three shut out innings, giving up only one hit, although Lidge would walk two batters to go along with the hit to load the bases, but he would get out of the inning with a foul pop out. Les Walrond would get the lost, as he goes one and a third innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits and a walk. His record is now 0-1 with a 16.20 ERA. (All together now: WTH????) Clay Condrey would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on two hits. Paul Maholm would also get a no-decision as he also pitch seven scoreless innings while giving up five hits while striking out ten Phillies. Sean Burnett, Denny Bautista and John Grabow would together pitch two scoreless innings, giving up no hits. T.J. Beam would get the win as he pitches two scoreless innings, giving up no hits while walking three. His record is now 1-1 with a ERA of 4.40. Craig Hansen would get the save, his third of the season and his first as a Pirate, as he goes an inning, giving up no runs on no hits while walking two.
Okay, it’s time to face the facts. This team seriously stinks!!!!! I mean, it’s one thing to lose to a team like the Marlins, the Mets, or the Cardinals, but it is another thing to lose to the likes of the Pirates, who are going nowhere fast. I mean, twenty-three innings since scoring a run? Are you f—king kidding me? What in the bleep is wrong with this team? What are they waiting for, an engraved invitation to score runs??? Fellows, I have news for you: the invite isn’t coming. You need to go out there and start playing this game for real. We all know you can score runs. You just need to actually do it. I don’t know, maybe you idiots need to stop pressing. Take a collective deep breath, and stop trying to force yourselves into scoring runs and just try to get it done. Or maybe this team just need to have its collective backsides kicked in real good. I don’t know about the rest of the fanbase but I am getting real sick and tired of constantly watching and hearing this team screw up, while hearing the broadcast team being able to figure out what they are doing wrong, Charlie Manuel wondering what its going to take to stop it, while the players themselves keep acting as if they are clueless and constantly saying, stay calm people, we’ll break out. Fellows its August, get it through your thick skulls, as long as you keep up with the Alfred E. Nueman bit, it isn’t going to occur. Get me???? Make things happen!!! Is it really that hard to do? I hope not. Oh, one last thing: STOP MAKING PITCHERS LOOK LIKE THEY’RE CY YOUNG!!!!!
The Phillies (62-53) will continue their three games weekend series with the Pirates (53-62, 5th National League Central) on Saturday night. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (4-9, 5.34), who is coming off a no-decision against the Cardinals on August 3, where he pitched six strong innings, giving up only two earned runs on four hits, in the Phillies’ 5-4 win. Lifetime against the Pirates, Myers is 2-4 with a 2.92 ERA. He will be trying for his three straight quality start since coming back from the minors, and his second straight win, while hoping that the Phillies’ offense will finally wake up. The Pirates will counter with Ian Snell (4-8, 6.14), who is coming off a bad start against the Cubs on August 3, where he got a no-decision as he would pitch only four innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits, in the Pirates’ 8-5 lost. Lifetime against the Phillies he is 3-2 with a 4.50 ERA. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to see if he can keep the Phillies off of the scoreboard.
The Phillies are now leading the Mets by a game, and the Marlins by one and a half games as the two teams switched places in the division after the Mets defeated the Marlins. The Braves now trail the Phillies by eight and a half games as they once again defeat the Diamondbacks. The Phillies will be trying to bounce back after this hard lost while trying to find some way to score runs.
That fresh start will come with the Phillies, who completed their search for an experienced second lefty reliever by acquiring Eyre from the Cubs for Minor League right-hander Brian Schlitter on Thursday.
“I asked how their bullpen was, and if they were just looking for guys, and they said, ‘No, we think you can still pitch,'” said Eyre, who will join the Phillies on Friday. “I said, ‘Great, I’m ready to go.'”
The 36-year-old Eyre appeared in 19 games for the Cubs this season because of stints on the disabled list for left elbow inflammation and a strained left groin, and worked only 11 1/3 innings. He’ll work in a situational role in the middle innings, and replace either Les Walrond or J.A. Happ on the roster.
After nine scoreless innings in his first 14 outings this season, Eyre fell out of favor with Cubs manager Lou Piniella when he allowed nine runs in five appearances, spanning 2 1/3 innings. He was designated for assignment on Tuesday, giving the Cubs seven days to trade him or he would become a free agent. He packed up his family in his RV, parked outside of Chicago, and headed to his home in Bradenton, Fla.
Eyre will turn around and drive to Philadelphia from Valdosta, Ga., where the family had reached when informed of the deal. The Phillies will be his fifth team, after the White Sox, Blue Jays, Giants and Cubs.
The last time he was designated for assignment, on Aug. 5, 2002, the Giants claimed him. He posted a 1.59 ERA in 21 appearances with San Francisco, which reached the World Series that year.
The Phillies’ bullpen has thrown the third-fewest innings in the National League this season, a product of the starters tossing the fifth-most innings. Still, manager Charlie Manuel would like some relief for late-inning pitchers Brad Lidge, J.C. Romero, Ryan Madson and Chad Durbin.
Lefties batted .259 (7-for-27) against Eyre this season, and have hit .244 against him in his career. In his past five seasons, Eyre has appeared in 317 games, the fourth-highest total among Major League lefties. Romero tops that list at 336.
“He’s a guy with a lot of experience,” said assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. “We’ve been looking for a left-hander for a long time, and think this left-hander can help.”
The Phillies thought that, too, when they pursued him in the winter of 2006, before he signed with the Cubs.
“This is a veteran guy who has had a lot of success,” Amaro said. “He’s had success in the playoffs and he’ll rise to the challenge. He’s been through it, having those kind of experienced guys is helpful. We think he has enough bullets in that 36-year-old arm to help us.” Schlitter was 4-3 with six saves and a 2.22 ERA in 34 games for Class A Clearwater, with 58 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings this year. He was a 16th-round selection by the Phillies in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. (H/T Phillies.com)
Hold the phone. They went after him during the off-season, and didn’t get him? Why didn’t…oh that’s right, cheapskate owners. I keep forgetting that. Anyway, I hope he will be the left handed complement to Madson, as he and the rest of the ‘pen needs a break while Gordon and Seanez are still out. Now, who will go? My guess is Walrond, since J.A. Happ can still be used as insurance against either Blanton or Myers going bad, or maybe giving Hamels a possibily needed rest. As I’d said earlier, time will tell.
It was bound to happen. The fish were finally able to defeat their nemesis, Jamie Moyer, as the Phils lose to the Marlins, 8-2. The Marlins would score their first run of the game in the second innings, when, with the bases loaded, and two out, Jeremy Hermida would get a RBI walk, forcing in Dan Uggla, who has earlier doubled, to give the Marlins a 1-0 lead. In the fourth, the Marlins would increase their lead to 2-0, when, with runners on first and third, Josh Willingham would hit into a force out, third to second, beating out the throw to first, allowing Hanley Ramirez, who has singled, moved to second when Hermida was hit by the pitch, and stole third, to score on the play. The Marlins would make it a 4-0 game in the seventh, when, once again with the bases loaded, and with two outs, Alfedo Amezaga would hit a two-run single that would drop in behind third baseman Greg Dobbs, scoring Jorge Cantu, who has gotten on base with a single, and Uggla, who has walked. In the bottom half of the inning, the Phillies would get on the board, on a two-run home run by Shane Victorino, his twenty-eighth home run of the year, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has singled, making it a 4-2 Marlins’ lead. The play is considered controversial, as instant reply would show that the ball was actually a foul ball, but the umpires refused to change the call after holding a conference. In the eighth, the Marlins would get one of the runs back, as Hermida would hit a RBI single, scoring Ramirez, who has walked and reached second on a wild pitch, giving the Marlins a 5-2 lead. The fish would put the game out of reach in the ninth inning, as, once again with the bases loaded and this time with one out, Ramirez would hit a sacrifice fly for the second out, scoring John Baker, who has earlier walked, to make it a 6-2 lead, while the runners would each move up to second and third. The next batter, Hermida, would follow with a two-run single, scoring Amezaga and Cody Ross, who have both singled earlier, to make it 8-2 Marlins. That would end up being the final score, as Matt Lindstrom would put down the Phillies in the bottom half of the ninth.
Jamie Moyer would take the lost as he loses for the first time to the fish, as he goes five innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits and three walks. His record is now 10-7 with a ERA of 3.78. Clay Condrey would go one and a third innings, giving up an earned run on two hits. Les Walrond, making his first appearance as a Phil, would go a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on a hit and two walks. Ryan Madson would pitch a third of an inning, giving up neither a run or a hit. J.A. Happ would make his first relief appearance as a Phil, going two innings as he gives up four earned runs on four hits and two walks. Walks would especially hurt Phillies’ pitching in last night’s game. Josh Johnson would get the win, as he went six innings, giving up no runs on five scattered hits. His record is now 2-0 with a ERA of 3.34. Justin Miller would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Renyel Pinto would pitch a third of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Joe Nelson would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Arthur Rhodes would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Matt Lindstrom would pitching a scoreless ninth, giving up no hits while walking the lead off man.
The Phillies’ offense hurt itself in last night’s game by hitting into several double plays, thus preventing the possibility of any kind of an inning being developed, especially late in the game, when they did had a change to rally from behind when it was still a close game. Also, the Phillies’ bullpen had another ineffective night, although it would be because a pair of newcomers could not get the job done. Les Walrond, as he makes his first start as a Phil, would strike out the first man he’d faced, but would then walk the next two batters, to load the bases, followed by a two-run single. His performance would force the Phils to bring in Ryan Madson in the seventh. It’s even worst when you factor in that he started out ahead of the first batter he would walk. And then there’s J.A. Happ. According to the Phillies’ broadcastors, it would seem that the local press has been calling for him to be used out of the bullpen, although the consensus from some of my fellow bloggers has been to not use him out of the ‘pen, since he doesn’t have the mentality to be coming out of the ‘pen. Well, we all know now that Charlies Manuel have seem to have given in to the local sports press and have finally used Happ out of the ‘pen last night, and we have all seen the final results. To which I say to the local sports media, ARE YOU GUYS HAPP-Y NOW??? Now, let Charlie decides when to actually use him again, and hopefully not in an important spot like last night when the Phillies needed to be close to their opponent to try and win the game, although the bats weren’t able to get anything going last night.
The Philles (61-51) continue their important three games series with the Marlins (60-53) tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (9-5, 4.59), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on July 31, where he went six and two-thirds innings, giving up only two earned runs on seven hits, in the Phillies’ 8-4 win. He will be trying to rebound from his last start against the Marlins on July 19, where he got rocked for seven runs on ten hits in four and one third innings, in the Philles’ 9-5 lost. Lifetime against the fish, he is 1-1 with a ERA of 5.40 in three starts. He will be trying for his tenth win, while trying to end the Phillies’ present losing streak at one game. His opponent will be Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 3.18), who is coming off a victory over the Rockies on July 31, as he went five and two-thirds innings, giving up just two earned runs on six hits, in the Marlins’ 12-2 win. He will be trying to make it two wins in a row after coming off the disabled list, while trying to get the Marlins even closer to the Phils in the East.
With the lost, the Phils now lead the fish by a game and a half, while they lead the Mets by two as they get ready to face the Padres for the second game of their series. The Braves now trail by nine and a half games after their win over the Giants last time. They will be preparing to play the last game of their three games series with the Giants tonight. The Phillies will be trying to even their series with the Marlins tonight, and then try to go for a series win tomorrow afternoon, as they hope that Kendrick will be able to finally find a way to get past the Marlins’ left handed batters tonight.