The Cubs took the lead in the bottom of the first as, with a man on first, and with nobody out, Ryan Kalish hits an RBI triple, knocking in Emilio Bonifacio, who had started the inning off with a walk, giving the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, after Anthony Rizzo had walked, putting runners on the corners, with still nobody out, Nate Schierholtz hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Kalish, giving the Cubs a 2-0 lead, while sending Rizzo up to second base. The Cubs then made it a 3-0 lead two batters later, after Luis Valbuena had walked, putting runners on second and first, and with one man out, as Starlin Castro hits an RBI double, knocking in Rizzo, and sending Valbuena up to third base. The Cubs then increased their lead as Ryan Sweeney hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Valbuena, giving the Cubs a 4-0 lead. The Phils tried to get onto the scoreboard in the top of the fourth as, with the bases loaded, via singles by Marlon Byrd and Dom Brown, with Byrd stopping at second base, and with both runners moving up a base on shortstop Castros’ force attempt fielding error of Carlos Ruiz’s grounder, and with one man out, Cody Asche hits into a force out at the plate, 1-2, as pitcher Carlos Villanueva threw out Byrd at home plate, as catcher John Baker touched the plate for the inning’s second out, while Brown and Ruiz both moved up a base, and Asche reached first base, leaving the bases loaded, before A.J. Burnett ended the threat by flying to center for the inning’s final out. The Phils would finally score in the top of the fifth as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Chase Utley hits a grounder up the middle which looked like it had a chance to be a base hit, but would be deflected off of pitcher Villanueva’s glove to the shortstop Castro, who then threw out Utley, 1-6-3, for the inning’s first out, while Ben Revere, who had started the inning off with a walk, then stole second base, before going on to third base on Jimmy Rollins’ single, would score, making it a 4-1 Cubs’ lead, as Rollins, who had earlier singled, then stole second base, would be forced to stay at second base because of the deflection, before Phils’ manager Ryne Sandburg would come out to dispute the call, asking for a review. The umpires would review the play, before upholding the call, leaving the Phils with a man on second, and with one man out. The inning would then end as Ryan Howard hits a sharp line drive that would be caught by Bonifacio, who then threw to second base to double up Rollins in a 4-6 doubleplay. The Cubs would get the run back in the bottom of the sixth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Bonifacio hits an RBI infield single, on a ball that was deflected by pitcher Burnett, allowing Sweeney, who had reached third base on a three base fielding error by center fielder Revere, to score, giving the Cubs a 5-1 lead, while sending Baker, who had earlier been hit by the pitch, to reach second base. The Cubs then made it a 7-1 lead as Kalish followed with a two-run double, scoring both Baker and Bonifacio. After the Phils had replaced Burnett with Brad Lincoln, the Cubs made it an 8-1 lead as Rizzo hits an RBI single, knocking in Kalish. The Phils would get a run back in the top of the ninth as, with the bases loaded, via walks to Asche, pinch-hitter Tony Gwynn, Jr., a wild pitch by pitcher Jose Veras, moving up both runners, and a walk to Revere, and with one man out, Rollins hits into an RBI force out, knocking in Asche, making it an 8-2 Cubs’ lead, as Gwynn is forced out at third base, 5-unassisted, while Revere moved up to second base. After Utley had walked to reload the bases, as Revere and Rollins both moved up a base, and Pedro Strop replaces Veras on the mound, the Phils made it an 8-3 Cubs’ lead as Strop threw a wild pitch, allowing Revere to score, while Rollins and Utley both moved up a base. That would end up being the final score as Howard would line out to left field for the game’s final out.
A. J. Burnett (0-1, 3.86) took the lost as he pitched five and two-third innings, giving up eight runs, only four of which were earned, on five hits, six walks and a hit batter, while striking out three. Brad Lincoln pitched a third of an inning, giving up a hit. Jeff Manship pitched two scoreless innings, giving up a walk, while striking out two. Carlos Villanueva (1-2, 4.26) got the win as he pitched five innings, giving up a run on six hits and a hit batter, while striking out three. Brian Schlitter collected his second hold of the season as he threw a 1-2-3 inning. Hector Rondon pitched two scoreless innings, giving up two hits, while striking out two. Jose Veras pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on four walks and a wild pitch, as he struck out a batter. Pedro Strop pitched a third of an inning, as he threw a wild pitch, before finally getting out the only batter whom he would face.
The Phils had eight hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins (Singles, RBI) and Dom Brown (Singles) both leading the team with two hits each. Ben Revere (Single), Chase Utley (Double, RBI), Byrd (Single) and Cody Asche (Single), had the other four Phils’ hits, while the final Phil’s run came in on a wild pitch. The Phils also had four walks (Revere, Utley, Asche, pinch-hitter Tony Gwynn, Jr.) and two stolen bases (Revere (4), Rollins (1)) in the game, while the defense committed an error (Revere) and picked a runner off first (Burnett).
The Phils (3-3, 4th East) are off today as their home opener against the Brewers (4-2, T-1st Central) was called off yesterday because of the possibility of rain in today’s forecast. Instead, it will be played tomorrow afternoon at Citizens Bank Park, to start at 4:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (0-0, 1.29) who is coming off a no-decision against the Rangers on April 2, as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up a run on five hits and a walk, while striking out four, in the Phils’ 4-3 walk-off lost. He will be going for his first win of the season, while trying to lead the Phils to the win on opening day. The Brewers will counter with Kyle Lohse (0-1, 3.86), who is coming off a lost against the Braves on April 1, as he went seven innings, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks, while he struck out eight, in the Brewers’ 5-2 lost. He will be going for his first victory of the season, while trying to silent the Phils’ bats. The Phils will be trying to start off their first home stand of the year on a good note.
The Phillies has just finished playing their home opener at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, this afternoon. They ended up on the short end once again, as they lose to the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-2.
The Phillies started the game, pitching wise, by sending out Carlos Carrasco, one of the four men trying to land the job of fifth starter in the starting rotation. The pitching prospect was soon aiming to please, as he put down the Blue Jays 1-2-3, getting two straight strikeouts and a ground out, third to first. After the Phils went down in order in their half of the first, Carrasco went back on the mound in the top of the second, once again getting a 1-2-3 innings against the Blue Jays batters by getting a ground out, 5-3, a fly out to right and a third strikeout. Carrasco seems to have set the bar in the battle for the final rotation spot by striking out three, getting two ground outs and a fly out.
After the Phils would go scoreless in their half of the second, J.A. Happ, another contender for the fifth spot, would take the mound. Refusing to give ground to Carassco, Happ would put together a 1-2-3 inning of his own, getting a ground out, 6-3, a fly out to right and a strike out. The Phillies would then proceed to break the scoreless tie, as, with no one out, and runners on first and second via a single and a stolen base (Jason Ellison) and a walk (Carlos Ruiz), Jimmy Rollins would knock in Ellinson with a single to right, while sending Ruiz to third, as he would move up to second on the throw home. Sadly, that would be all that the Phillies would do that inning, as the next three batters would strike out, pop out and strike out. Happ would go back to the mound in the top of the fourth, soon getting the first two men out via a ground out, 4-3 and a pop out to third. He would then give up a single, the first hit of the game for the Blue Jays, before he ended the inning with a fly out to center. In spite of the hit, Happ would do as well as Carrasco, getting two ground outs, two fly outs, a pop out and a strike out. The Phillies would only manage a walk in the bottom of the fourth.
The Phillies would send Justin Lehr to the mound to start the fifth. Lehr would be welcomed by Travis Snider who would hit a lead-off home run on a 2-2 pitch, tying the game up at 1-1. The Blue Jays would then take the lead as Jason Lane would follow Snider with a home run of his own on a 3-2 pitch. Lehr would then get out of the inning by getting two straight ground outs, 4-3 and 3-1 and then a line out to second. The Phils would go down 1-2-3 in their half of the fifth.
Gary Majewski would pitch the sixth for the Phillies. He would pitch a 1-2-3 inning against the Blue Jays, with a strike out, a ground out, 3-1 and another strike out. In the Phillies’ half of the inning, they would tie the score at 2-2 with two men outs as Greg Dobbs singles in John Mayberry, Jr., who has earlier doubled. After the sixth inning ends, Majewski would go back out to pitch the seventh, soon mowing down the Blue Jays again, 1-2-3, as he would get a fly out to left, a ground out, 4-3, and a pop out to third on six pitches. The Phillies would be unable to score in their half of the inning, in spite of getting a man on first via a hit batman, with one out, because of an inning ending double play.
The Phillies would start the eighth inning with Blaine Neal on the pitching rubber. After getting out the first batter with a pop out to second, he would give up a double to David Cooper. The next batter would ground out, 5-3, keeping Cooper at second. After that, everything would go wrong for Neal. He would walk Angel Sanchez, putting runners on first and second, then would throw a wild pitch, sending Cooper to third, putting runners on the corner. He would then walk Bradley Emaus on four pitches, loading up the bases as Sanchez would move over to second. Scott Campbell would then come up and clears the bases with a double, scoring Cooper, Sanchez and Emaus, giving the Blue Jays a 5-2 lead. That would be it for Neal, as he would be taken out for Yorman Bazardo. Bazardo would hit the first batter he would face, Brian Jeroloman, putting runners on first and second. He would then give up an RBI single to Adam Loewen, scoring Campbell, and sending Jeroloman to third, as the Blue Jays would increase their lead to 6-2. Bazardo would finally end the inning by getting the next batter to ground out, 4-3, but by then the damage had already been done as Neal and Bazardo would combine to give up four runs (all charged to Neal) on three hits, two walks, a wild pitch and a hit batter. The Phils would be unable to score in their half of the eighth, in spite of starting the inning off with a walk, as the next batter would hit into a double play before the inning would end with a strike out.
Bazardo would be sent back out to pitch the ninth. He would strike out the first batter he would face, before issuing a walk. He would then end the inning by getting the next batter to ground into a double play. The Phillies ninth would begin with a strike out before Andy Tracy would get on base with a single. Pablo Ozuna would follow him with a single, putting runners on first and second with one out. The next batter would then hit into a force out, with Ozuna being out at second while Tracy would move over to third. The next batter would then strike out, ending the game, and giving the Phils their second straight Spring Training lost.
For the Phillies, the two men trying for the fifth starter spot in the rotation, Carrasco and Happ, would both do well today, as between them, they would give up no runs in four innings of work, giving up only a single, while striking out four. Majewski would also do well, as he would pitch two scoreless innings, giving up no hits, while striking out two. Although he would allow in the fourth and final run to score in the eighth inning, Bazardo would pitch a scoreless inning and a third, giving up a hit and a walk and hitting a batter, while striking out one. Lehr would pitch one bad inning, giving up back-to-bat home runs, before getting out of the inning with no further damage. Neal though, would end up being hit the hardest, as he would give up four earned runs on two hits, two walks and a wild pitch in two-thirds of an inning.
Among the batters, the Phils would have only six hits, with Rollins, Mayberry, Dobbs, Tracy, Ozuna and Ellison each getting a hit, while Rollins and Dobbs would be responsible for the Phils two RBIs. The Phillies would only walk three times in the game while striking out nine times.
Neal would be the losing pitching, with a Spring Training record of 0-1 with an ERA of 54.00. The winning pitching for the Blue Jays would be Bill Murphy, who, in one inning of work, would give up no runs or hits, while striking out one batter. His Spring Training record is now 1-0 with an 0.00 ERA.
The Phillies next Spring Training game will be played tomorrow afternoon from Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida at 1:05 pm Easetrn.
Two two-run home runs by Shane Victorino and pinch hitter Matt Stairs in the eighth inning would help lead the Phillies to a 7-5 win over the Dodgers as the Phillies take a commanding three games to one lead over the Bums in the National League Championship Series. The Phillies jumped quickly on Dodgers’ starter Derek Lowe in the first inning, as, with runners on first and second and no one out, Chase Utley would hit a RBI double, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier singled and has moved up to second on Jayson Werth’s single, giving the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead, while sending Werth on to third. Ryan Howard, as he would make the inning’s first out, would make it 2-0 Phillies, as he would hit a RBI ground out to the right side, 4-3, scoring Werth, while sending Utley over to third. Pat Burrell would then follow with a walk, putting runners on the corners. Lowe would finally get out of the inning as he would get Shane Victorino to hit into a 4-6-3 double play, wiping out Burrell at second. The Dodgers would get a run back in their half of the first, as, with runners on first and second and two men out, James Loney would hit a RBI double, scoring Rafael Furcal, who has earlier singled, and has moved on to second on Andre Ethier’s ground out, 4-3, to make it 2-1 Phils, while sending Manny Ramirez, who has earlier been intentionally walked by Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton, to third. Blanton would then get out of the inning as Blake DeWitt would line out to Howard. That would remain the score until the bottom of the fifth as Lowe would calm down, while Blanton would constantly pitch himself out of jams. In the Dodgers’ fifth, the Dodgers would tie the game as, with two men on and no one out, Ramirez would hit a RBI single, scoring Furcal, who has earlier walked and has gone on to second on an Ethier’s single, while Ethier’s would reach third on Burrell’s late throw to the plate as Furcal is able to push his way through catcher’s Carlos Ruiz’s right leg. Ramirez would meanwhile move up to second on the throw, putting two men in scoring position. Blanton would then get Russell Martin to ground out, 6-3, for the inning’s first out, scoring Ethier on the play, to give the Dodgers a 3-2 lead, while Ramirez would go back to second base. Blanton would then intentionally walk Loney to put runners on first and second with still one out. The strategy behind the move would work for the Phils, as the next batter, DeWitt, would hit into a 4-6-3 double play, ending the inning. After Lowe is taken out of the game by the Dodgers, the Phillies would then tie up the game in the sixth, as, with men on second and third, and with two men out, Howard, who has earlier walked, moved on to second on Burrell’s single and would move over to third on Victorino’s sacrifice bunt, would score on a Chan Ho Park’s wild pitch, while Burrell would move up to third. Park would then walk Ruiz to put runners on the corners. Dodgers’ manager Joe Torre would then come out of the Dodgers’ dugout and replace Park with Joe Beimel, after Geoff Jenkins is sent out as a pitch hitter. Jenkins is then replaced by So Taguchi, who would promptly end the inning by flying out to right. The Dodgers would retake the lead in their half of the sixth as Casey Blake would hit a lead-off home run off of Phillies’ reliever Chad Durbin, making it 4-3 Dodgers. Juan Pierre would then follow with a double. Durbin would then walk pinch hitter Matt Kemp, putting two men on base, still with no one out. Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel would then replace Durbin with Scott Eyre. Furcal would then attempt a sacrifice bunt. Howard would get the ball but would then commit a throwing error, throwing it past Utley, allowing Pierre to score, giving the Dodgers a 5-3 lead, while allowing Kent to go to third and Furcal to move up to second, with still no body out. Ethier would then line out to first for the inning’s first out. Then, on the key turning point of the game, Ramirez is then intentionally walked to load up the bases. After Eyre is replaced on the mound by Ryan Madson, he would help get the Phils out of the inning with no more damage as Martin would hit a line drive that is caught by Utley, who would then quickly tag second base with his glove, beating Furcal back to the bag, for an unassisted double play, leaving the score still 5-3 Dodgers. After turning back the Dodgers in the seventh, the Phillies would go to work on the Dodgers’ bullpen in the eighth, finally scoring some runs. Howard would start the inning off with a single. After Burrell pops up to second for the inning’s first out, Victorino would follow with a two-run bomb to right, scoring Howard, and tying the game up at five all. After Pedro Feliz would line out to left for the inning’s second out, Ruiz would get on base with a single. Torre would then come out and replace Cory Wade, who had given up the two-run shot to Victorino, with Joe Broxton, to face pitch hitter Matt Stairs. Stairs would work the count to 3-1 before he would hit a monster two-run home run of his own to right field, scoring Ruiz, and giving the Phillies a 7-5 lead. Rollins would then walk and steal second with Werth batting, before Werth would end the inning by striking out. In the bottom of the eighth, the Phillies would send out J.C. Romero. After giving up a walk to Furcal, Romero would get Ethier to hit into a 6-4-3 double play, wiping out Furcal at second. Romero would then be replaced with Brad Lidge for a four-out save. It didn’t start out that way as Ramirez would get on base with a double. Martin would then follow with a strike out, which should’ve ended the inning, but didn’t, as it would get away from Ruiz, allowing Martin to reach first base while sending Ramirez over to third, putting runners on the corners. But Lidge would finally get out of the inning by getting Loney to fly out to left. In the ninth, Lidge would pitch an easy 1-2-3 inning, as he would first get pinch hitter Nomar Garciaparra to fly out to center for the first out, get Blake to strike out swinging for the second out and then end the game by getting Jeff Kent to fly out to Feliz for the final out, as he records his fifth save of the post-season.
Joe Blanton would get a no-decision as he would pitch five innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits and four walks, while striking out four. Chad Durbin would face only three batters, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on two hits and a walk. Scott Eyre would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits and a walk. Ryan Madson would get the win as he would pitch an inning and two-thirds, giving up no runs on one hit and a walk, while striking out one. His record in the series is now 1-0 with an ERA of 0.00. J.C. Romero would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits and a walk. Brad Lidge would pitch an inning and a third, giving up no runs on one hit, while striking out two, as he would records his forty-sixth straight save in forty-six tries. Derek Lowe would also get a no-decision as he also goes only five innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out four. Clayton Kershaw would go a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on a hit and a walk. Chan Ho Park would get a blown save as he goes a third of an inning, giving up no runs on a walk and a wild pitch. Joe Beimel would also go a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Hong-Chih Kuo would go an inning plus one batter, giving up an earned run on a hit, while striking out two. Cory Wade would get a blown save and the lost as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. His record is now 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA. Jonathan Broxton would pitch an inning and a third, giving up an earned run on two hits and a walk, while striking out one.
The victory places the Phillies just one game away from getting into the World Series, as the offense is finally able to torch the Dodgers’ bullpen, getting five runs off of it thanks to a wild pitch and two two-run home runs. The bats would end up getting twelve hits over all, with all of the regulars getting at least one hit, with Chase Utley being the team leader, as he went three for five, knocking in a run on a double and two singles. Next was Carlos Ruiz, who went two for three, with two singles and a walk, scoring a run. Meanwhile, Joe Blanton would pitch five good innings, getting out of trouble constantly before finally being taken out for a pinch hitter. Although giving up two runs, the Phillies’ bullpen would hold firm for four innings, helped along by two double plays with Utley’s unassisted gem in the seventh being the more important of the two as it would get the Phillies out of a bases-loaded, one out jam. The Phillies now need just one more win to get into the World Series, with three chances within which to do it.
Game Five of the National League Championship Series will be played tomorrow night. It will be played in Dodgers Stadium and will begin at 8:22 pm Eastern (5:22 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be their ace Cole Hamels (1-0, 2.57), who is coming off a good start against the Dodgers in game one of the NLCS on October 9, where he would go six innings, giving up only two earned runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out eight, in the Phillies’ 3-2 win. He will be trying to pitch the Phillies into their first World Series appearance since 1993 with a victory. The Dodgers will counter with Chad Billingsley (0-1, 27.00), who is coming off a very awful start in game two of the NLCS against the Phillies on October 10, as he would last only two and one third innings, giving up eight runs, only seven of which were earned, on eight hits and three walks, while striking out five, in the Dodgers’ 8-5 lost. He will be trying to pitch a better game tomorrow night while trying to keep the Dodgers in the playoff.
Jamie Moyer would pitch seven scoreless inning of three hit ball while the bullpen trio of Ryan Madson, J.C. Romero and Brad Lidge would give the Padres only one more hit, while Pat Burrell would hit a solo home run off of Padres’ starter Greg Maddux to give the Phillies a 1-0 victory. The game for the first six innings would be a pitchers’ duel between two veteran pitchers, Moyer and Maddux, two of the three veteran pitchers still left from the Draft Class of 1984. Maddux would get himself out of a two men on, one men out, Phils’ threat in the top of the second by getting Eric Bruntlett to pop out and Carlos Ruiz to fly out. Moyer would get himself out of a jam of his own in the Padres’ sixth, when, with runners on first and third, and two outs, he would get Kevin Kouzmanoff to ground out, first baseman to the pitcher, for the final out. Then in the seventh, Pat Burrell would knock in the game’s only run as he would hit his third career home run off of Maddux, his twenty-eighth home run of the year, to give the Philles a 1-0 lead. In the Padres’ seventh, after giving up a lead-off single to Andrian Gonzalez, Moyer would get Chase Headley to line out to third, Tadahito Iguchi to line out to right and Nick Hundley to pop out to third, to end the inning and his night on the mound. The Phillies would then threathen to add to their lead in both the eighth and ninth innings, but they would be turned away in both innings by the Padres’ bullpen. The Padres would, in the meantime, get a runner on base with two outs in their own half of the eighth, but J.C. Romero, pitching in relief of Ryan Madson, who, in turrn, has been pitching in relief of Moyer, would end the inning by getting Brian Giles to ground out to Ryan Howard, who would just beat Giles to the bag for the final out. Brad Lidge would then come in to pitch the ninth and would record a 1-2-3 inning, to end the ballgame with his twenty-ninth save of the year.
Jamie Moyer would get the victory as he would pitch seven strong innings of shutout ball, giving up only three hits and walking only two batters as he constantly got ahead of the hitters. His record is now 11-7 with a 3.76 ERA. Ryan Madson would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. Brad Lidge would record his twenty-ninth save in twenty-nine attempts as he would pitch a 1-2-3 inning, strking out two. Greg Maddux would get the lost, as he also pitched seven innings, giving up an earned run, Pat Burrell’s solo home run, on five hits. His record is now 6-9 with a 3.99 ERA. Justin Hampson would face only one batter who would get on base on a throwing error. Mike Adams would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Wilfredo Ledezma would pitch two thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits, while striking out two. Clay Hensley would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits as he struck out the side.
The Phillies’ offense, in spite of Pat Burrell’s home run, is still not scoring runs when they need to. If not for Jamie Moyer’s pitching and some spectacular plays that were made in the field by both Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard, the Phillies would probably be trying to avoid six loses in a row instead of trying for a series win this upcoming Saturday night.
The Phillies (65-57) will continue their three games series with the Padres (47-75, 5th National League West) tonight. The game will be played at PETCO Park and will start at 10:05 pm Eastern (7:05 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (10-6, 4.74), who is coming off a recent disastrous start against the Dodgers on August 11, where he would only go three and a thirds innings, giving up seven earned runs on nine hits, in the Phillies’ 8-6 lost. He will be trying once again for his eleventh win, while hoping to both bounce back from his previous start and for the Phillies’ bat to wake up. The Padres’ starter, although announced, has not yet been listed, as the original starter, Chris Young, has just been placed on the disabled list by the Padres.
The Phillies are still trailing the Mets by a game, as they defeated the Pirates. They are ahead of the Marlins by two and a half games, as they’d lost to the Cubs. The Phillies will be trying to get a series win while still waiting for the offense to finally wake up.