Behind the pitching of Jamie Moyer, Chad Durbin and Brad Lidge, and the Phillies’ offense, the Phillies would be able to leave Chicago with a split, 5-3. The Phillies would take the lead in the first inning as they went to work on Cubs’ starter Sean Marshall, who was pitching in place of the original starter, Carlos Zambrano, who would claim that he has a ‘dead’ arm. With a runner on second and two outs, Ryan Howard would hit a RBI single, scoring Chase Utley, who has gotten on base earlier with a walk, and then stole second, to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. Two batters latter, Jayson Werth would hit a two-run double, scoring Howard, who has gone to second on Shane Victorino’s single, and Victorino, who has singled, to make it 3-0 Phillies. The Cubs would cut the Phillies’ lead in the second, when, with runners on the corners and one man out, Ronny Cedeno would hit a RBI single, scoring Mark DeRosa, who has earlier singled, would go to second on Geovany Soto’s single and then went to third on Kosuke Fukudome’s force out that would wipe out Soto at second, to make it 3-1 Phillies, while Fukudome would move over to second. The ball should’ve been caught by Victorino in left center field for the inning’s second out, but because there were no clouds overhead, Victorino would have a hard time trying to see the ball, before it would finally bounce off of his right thigh towards Pat Burrell, who would in turn be unable to catch it, as it dropped in for the RBI single. Marshall would then follow with an RBI single of his own, getting it past Utley, who has headed towards first because Marshall made it look like that he was going to put down a sacrifice bunt, scoring Fukudome, and sending Cedeno to second, making it 3-2 Phillies. Phillies’ starter Jamie Moyer would finally end the threat by getting both Alfonso Soriano and Reed Johnson to fly out. The Phillies would add to their lead in the fifth, as, with two men out, Werth would hit his twenty-first home run of the year to give the Phillies a 4-2 lead. The Phils would add their final run in the sixth, as, with a runner on third and one out, Jimmy Rollins would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who has earlier reached base with a double and then went to third on Moyer’s sacrifice bunt, making it 5-2 Phils. The Cubs would threaten to rally in their half of the sixth as they put runners on first (Cedeno-walk) and second (Fukudome-single), with one out. Charlie Manuel would take out Moyer and replace him with Chad Durbin. Durbin would then proceed to get out of the inning by first striking out pinch hitter Ryan Theriot and then getting Soriano to pop out to second. In the eighth, after getting the inning’s first out, Durbin would give up a single to Soto. Manuel would come out and replace Durbin with the previous day’s hero, J.C. Romero. Romero would throw a wild pitch that would send Soto over to second. He would then get Fukudome to ground out, second to first, for the inning’s second out, while Soto would go on to third. Pinch hitter Henry Blanco would then get a pinch single, scoring Soto, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 5-3. Manuel would then come out again and replace Romero with Ryan Madson. Madson would then give up a pinch single to pinch hitter Daryle Ward to put runners on first and second. After Ward is replaced on first by pinch runner Mike Fontenot, Madson would end the inning by striking out Soriano. Brad Lidge would then come in to pitch the ninth, and would records his thirty-third save by pitching a 1-2-3 inning.
Jamie Moyer would get the win as he pitches five and a third innings, giving up only two earned runs on eight hits. His record is now 12-7 with a 3.80 ERA. Chad Durbin would pitch two innings, giving up an earned run on one hit. J.C. Romero and Ryan Madson would each pitch a third of an inning, giving up one hit each. Brad Lidge would pitch a scoreless ninth inning as he recorded his thirty-third save in thirty-three tries. Sean Marshall would get the lost as he pitches five and a third innings, giving up five earned runs on nine hits. His record is now 3-4 with a 4.03 ERA. Jeff Samardzija, Bob Howry and Neal Cotts would combine for three scoreless innings, giving up three hits (Howry (1) and Cott (2)).
The Phillies’ offense would this time score enough runs to win, as they split the four games series and win the season series with the Cubs, while getting twelve hits that would this time be more evenly spread around among the starting eight, with only Pedro Feliz getting the collar. Ryan Howard would lead the offense with three hits, two singles and a double, knocking in a run, while scoring one run. Shane Victornio, Chase Utley and Jayson Werth would follow with two hits each, each scoring a run, while Werth would knock in three of the Phillies’ other runs. Chad Durbin, J.C. Romero and Ryan Madson would all combine to get the Phillies through the eighth inning this time, giving up only one run to the Cubs before Brad Lidge would come in to shut the Cubs down in the ninth.
The Phillies (75-62) will now go on to Washington to start a three games series with the presently hot Nationals (52-85). The game will be played in Nationals Park and will begin at 3:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (11-7, 4.83), who is coming off a no-decision against the Mets on August 27, where he went five plus innings, giving up two earned runs on eight hits, in the Phillies’ 6-3 lost. Lifetime against the Nationals, he is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA in four starts. He will be trying once again for his twelfth win, while seeing if he can cool down the presently hot Nationals. The Nationals will counter with Tim Redding (9-8, 4.54), who is coming off a win against the Dodgers on August 27, where he went six innings, giving up only three earned runs on eight hits, in the Nats’ 5-4 win. He will be trying for his tenth win while seeing if he can defeat the Phillies once again this season.
The Phillies are still a game behind the Mets and five games ahead of the Mets as the Mets defeated the fish. The Phillies will be seeing if they can win the series in Washington and tie for the divisional lead in the East before their weekend series with the Mets in their last trip to Shea Stadium.
The Phillies finally get past the eighth inning as J.C. Romero comes in and squashed a Cubs’ rally with three strikeouts, while Myers would pitch another seven strong innings as the Phillies defeated the Cubs, 5-2. The Cubs would score the game’s first run, as, with two men on and one out, Geovany Soto would hit a RBI single, scoring Mark DeRosa, who has earlier singled and then went to second on Kosuke Fukudome’s single, to give the Cubs a quick 1-0 lead, while sending Fukudome to third. Phillies’ starter Brett Myers would then get out of the inning by striking out Cubs’ starter Ted Lilly and then getting Alfonso Soriano to fly out. The game would then become a pitchers’ duel in the third and fourth innings, with Lilly breezing through the Phillies’ line-up, while Myers would get out of trouble in both the third (two on, one out-double play) and the fourth (two on, two out-ground out). Then in the top of the fifth, Jayson Werth, with one swing of the bat, would tie the ballgame with a solo home run, his nineteenth home run of the year. Then in the sixth, after the Phillies have loaded up the bases via two singles (Chase Utley and Ryan Howard) and a hit batter (Shane Victorino), with two men out, Werth would give the Phillies a 3-1 lead with a two-run single, scoring Utley, who has gone to third on Ryan’s single, and Howard, who has gone to second when Victorino was hit by the pitch, with a slide that would keep him from being tagged by Cubs’ catcher Soto. In the eighth, the Phillies would increase their lead as Howard hit a solo home run to deep center field, for his thirty-seventh home run of the year, making it 4-1 Phillies. Two batters later, Werth would hit his second solo home run of the game, his twentieth home run of the year, to give the Phillies a 5-1 lead. Which was a good thing, as the Cubs would try to come back in their half of the inning. Ryan Theriot, Derrick Lee and Aramis Ramirez would each single, with Ramirez scoring Theriot, who has gone to third on Lee’s single, making it a 5-2 Phillies’ lead, while sending Lee to second. That would be it for Myers, as Charlie Manuel would come out of the dugout and replace Myers with J.C. Romero. With two men on and no one out, Romero would proceed to strike out first pinch hitter Reed Johnson, and then pinch hitter Ronny Cedeno, using their youthful aggressiveness against them as they would both strike out swinging. The next batter, Fukudome, would then get a four-pitch walk to load up the bases. After being calmed down by Rich Dubee, since he didn’t get a called strike on what would be ball number three, Romero would then bear down and strike out Soto looking to finally end the inning. Romero would then leave the mound, all enthusiastic. Hey, Charlie, I think you’d just found your eighth inning bridge to Brad Lidge. Speaking of Lidge, he would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth, recording his thirty-second save of the year.
Brett Myers would get the win as he pitches another seven strong innings, plus three batters, as he gives up only two earned runs on eleven hits, while striking out eight. His record is now 8-10, 5-1 since coming back from the minors, with a 4.40 ERA. J.C. Romero would pitch a scoreless inning, striking out three and walking one batter. Brad Lidge would also pitch a scoreless inning, as he records his thirty-second save in thirty-two tries, as he struck out two. Ted Lilly would take the lost as he goes six and two-thirds innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits. His record is now 13-8 with an ERA of 4.23. Neal Cotts would pitch an inning and a third, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Bob Howry would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up two hits.
The Phillies’ bullpen would finally get past the eighth inning as J.C. Romero would come into the game, and strike out three of the four batters that he would face, getting two of them out by having the hitters swinging at strike three while the third batter would stand at the plate for a called third strike, and showing some enthusiasm after doing it. Myers would pitch himself out of trouble in the first four innings before getting three straight 1-2-3 innings, as he gives up only singles to the Cubbies. Meanwhile, the offense would get another ten hits, although they would not be as evenly spread out as they have been earlier in the week. Jayson Werth would lead the attack, going three for four, with two home runs and a single, knocking in four of the Phillies’ runs. Jimmy Rollins would follow with four hits, three singles and a double, along with a stolen base. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard would both follow with two hits apiece, three singles and a home run (for Howard), as they would score the other three Phillies’ run (Utley (1), Howard (2)). Now if they can just leave Chicago Sunday with a series split.
The Phillies (74-62) will conclude their four games series with the Cubs (85-51, 1st National League Central) this afternoon. The game will be played at Wrigley Field and will begin at 2:20 pm Eastern (1:20 pm Central). The Phillies will send to the mound the veteran pitcher Jamie Moyer (11-7, 3.81), who is coming off a recent bad outing against the Mets on August 26, as he is only able to go three innings, as he gets creamed for six earned runs on nine hits, in the Phillies’ dramatic 8-7 win. He will be trying for his fifteenth good start in his last sixteen starts while trying for his twelfth win of the year. The Cubs’ stater will be Carlos Zambrano (13-5, 3.53), who is coming off a no-decision against the Pirates on August 26, as he would pitch only four and a third innings, giving up six earned runs on eight hits, in the Cubs’ 14-9 win. He will be trying to get his fourteenth win while trying to stop the Phillies’ offense.
The Phillies are now trailing the Mets by a game while they are five games ahead of the Marlins, as the fish defeated the Mets last night. The Phillies will be trying to leave Chicago with a series split while hoping that they will be heading to Washington to meet the Nationals, tied for first place.
The Phillies let another game slip out of their hands as they blow another lead, losing to the Cubs, 3-2. And, to add insult to injury, a bad umpire’s call may have hurt them this time. Like yesterday, the Phillies would score first, as, with two men on and two outs, Pat Burrell would hit a RBI single, knocking in Chase Utley, who has been hit by the pitch, and then would move up to second on Ryan Howard’s walk, giving the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead. The game would then become a pitchers’ duel between two former A’s teammates, Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton and Cubs’ starter Rich Harden. As the Phillies’ batter would be patient at the plate, causing Harden’s pitch count to rise, Blanton would breeze quickly through the first four innings, giving up only a lead-off walk and a hit. The Phillies would finally get their second run off of Harden when, with a runner on first and two outs, Howard would hit a single to right, with Utley, who has gotten on first with a single, would go to third on the hit. Cubs’ right fielder Kosuke Fukudome would then commit a throwing error, which would allow Utley to score, to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. The Cubs would cut the Phillies’ lead to 2-1, as, with runners on the corners on and one out, Daryle Ward would hit a ground ball to Utley. Utley would throw to Jimmy Rollins for the inning’s second out, removing Henry Blanco, who has earlier singled, but he would then make an errant throw to first, which would pull Howard off the first base bag, because of Blanco’s slide which would force Rollins to make a quick throw when he actually have time to throw out Ward, which would not be recorded as an error. The blunder would allow Mark DeRose, who has earlier walked, stole second and has moved to third on Blanco’s single, to score the Cubs’ first run. Blanton would then end the inning by getting Alfonso Soriano to pop out. Blanton would then melt down on the mound in the sixth, as he proceed to walk first Ryan Theriot and then Derrick Lee. After getting out the next two batters, with the runners both moving up a base on the second out, he would then walk DeRosa to load the bases. That was enough for Charlie Manuel, as he would come out to take out Blanton and replace him with Scott Eyre. Eyre would, unfortunatley, walk Fukudome on five pitches, forcing in Theriot, and tying the game at two all, while leaving the bases loaded. Eyre would end the inning by striking out Blanco. In the seventh, the Phillies would try to retake the lead, with runners on the corners and two out, Howard would hit a ball at Cubs’ first baseman Lee, who would proceed to boot the ball, but would somehow be able to throw it in time to pitcher Jeff Samardzija, to get out Howard. This would lead to an argument between Howard, Manuel, Davey Lopes and first base umpire Chris Guccione, while, according to the Phillies’ announcers, Howard, Lopes and Manuel had a point as Howard would actually beat Lee’s throw to first, which would have given the Phillies the lead with Rollins, who was safe on a force out, moved to second on Shane Victorino’s walk and has gone to third during another force out, coming across the plate during the play. Third base coach Steve Smith would eventually be ejected from the game by home plate umpire Bill Welke for still arguing the call. This would turn out to be huge, as, in the Cubs’ half of the seventh, with one out, Clay Condrey would give up a solo home run to Soriano, his twenty-third home run of the year, to give the Cubs a 3-2 lead. This would be the final score, as the Phillies would be unable to score in the eighth inning, and after turning back the Cubs in their half of the eighth, would be unable to get anything done in the ninth, as Carlos Marmol would record his seventh save of the season.
Joe Blanton would get a no-decision as he pitches five and two-thirds innings, giving up only two earned runs on two hits and five very costly walks. Scott Eyre would get his second blown save of the season, as he pitches a third of an inning, giving up only one walk, which sadly brought in the tying run, and one strikeout. Clay Condrey would get the lost as he pitches an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. His record is now 3-4 with a 3.58 ERA. Rudy Seanez would also pitch an inning, as he gives up no run on one hit. Rich Harden would also receive a no-decision as he would only last five innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on three hits. Chad Gaudin would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit. Jeff Samardzija would get the win as he pitches an inning and a third, giving up no runs on two hits. Carlos Marmol would get his seventh save of the year as he pitches one and two-thirds innings of scoreless ball, giving up no hits while striking out three.
Multiply factors would kill the Phillies today. First, Blanton’s five walks. Four of those walks would lead to the two runs that he would give up, especially the three walks that he would give up in the sixth inning, loading the bases. Although it would be Scott Eyre who would walk home the tying run, it would never have happened if Blanton had been able to throw strikes when he needed to, especially after getting ahead of the hitters. Secondly, the offense. Although they would force Rich Harden to leave the game early by getting him to work long pitch counts, they would be unable to get a key hit when they needed it when they threaten to score in the early innings. Business as usual for the offense. Third, Jimmy Rollins’ blunder in the fifth, when he could’ve taken his time to throw to first for the third out on Daryle Ward’s grounder to Utley, but instead would rush his throw because of Harry Blanco coming at him to break up the double play. Instead of the score staying 2-0 Phils, it became 2-1 Phillies because he would force Ryan Howard off of the bag to keep it from going past him. And lastly, the umpire’s call in the seventh inning on Howard’s grounder to first that would bounce off of Derrick Lee’s glove. According to instant reply, Howard has actually beaten Samardzija to the bag, but first base umpire Chris Guccione would call Howard out. The broadcasters think that this is the result of the same umpire earlier calling Utley safe on the previous play when he might’ve been beaten by the throw. If it is, it really stinks! as it kept the Phillies from retaking the lead. Oh man, how much more of this do we Phillies’ fan have to suffer through before we all go mad? Or when will all of this buzzard luck finally start to go our boys’ way?
The Phillies (73-62) will continue their four games series with the Cubs (85-50, 1st National League Central), now trying for a split in the series. The game will be nationally televised by Fox Sports and will start at 3:55 pm Eastern (2:55 pm Central) in Wrigley Field. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (7-10, 4.49), who is coming off a win against the Dodgers on August 25, as he pitches seven shut out innings, giving up nine scattered hits while striking out eight, in the Phillies’ 5-0 win. He will be trying to pitch his six straight quality start since returning from the minors and improving his record to 5-1 in his last eight starts, while trying to stop the Phillies’ present slide at three games. The Cubs’ starter will be Ted Lilly (13-7, 4.23), who is coming off a win against the Pirates on August 25, as he went seven innings, giving up only three earned run on seven hits while striking out seven, in the Cubs’ 12-3 rout. He will be trying to see if he can continue the Cubs’ seven game winning streak and continue the Phillies’ current losing streak.
With the lost, the Phillies are presently trailing the Mets by two game and lead the Marlins by five games, as the Mets defeated the Marlins. The Phillies will be trying to regroup so that they can come back and split the series before continuing their long road trip.
The Phillies’ bullpen would blow yet another game in the eighth inning as Chad Durbin gives up a grand slam home run to Aramis Ramirez, as the Phillies lose the opener of their four games series with the Major League leading Cubs, 6-4. The Phillies would take the lead in the first inning, as, with runners on the corners and two outs, Shane Victorino would hit a RBI single, scoring Chase Utley, who has earlier singled, and sending Ryan Howard, who has walked, to third. After Jayson Werth worked a walk off of Cubs’ starter Ryan Dempster to load the bases, Dempster would end the inning by getting Pedro Feliz to strike out swinging. The game would then become a pitchers’ duel between Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels and Dempster, as Hamels would refuse to give up hits to the Cubs while Dempster would get out of trouble in the fourth and fifth innings. In the Cubs’ half of the fifth, they would tie the game at one all, as, with one out, Mark DeRosa would hit a RBI triple, scoring Kosuke Fukudome, who has gotten on base with an infield single. Hamels would then end the threat by first striking out Dempster for out number two, and then getting Alfonso Soriano to pop up to the shortstop for the inning’s final out. The Phillies would then regain the lead in the sixth. Werth would start the inning off with a double. Feliz would then walk, putting runners on first and second. Carlos Ruiz would then hit a RBI single, scoring Werth, giving the Phillies a 2-1 lead, while sending Feliz to second. Hamels would then sacrifice the runners over to third and second, respectively, for the inning’s first out. Jimmy Rollins would then hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Feliz, to make it a 3-1 Phillies’ lead, while sending Ruiz to third. The Cubs then decided to pitch to Utley, instead of going after a slumping Pat Burrell, and Utley would make them pay for it as he would hit a RBI single, knocking in Ruiz, to give the Phillies a 4-1 lead. Burrell would end the inning by flying out to left. Hamels would then proceed to keep the Cubs silent in both the sixth and seventh innings, before handing the ball over to the bullpen. Unfortunatley, the bullpen would not be able to preserve the win in the eighth. Ryan Madson would give up a lead-off pinch hit home run to pinch hitter Mike Fontenot, his ninth home run of the year, cutting the Phillies’ lead down to 4-2. Soriano would follow with a double. Ryan Theriot would then single, sending Soriano to third, with no one out. Charlie Manuel would immediately take out Madson and replace him with Chad Durbin. Durbin would then walk Derrick Lee, loading up the bases. Then, on a 1-0 fastball, Aramis Ramirez would hit a grand slam home run, his twenty-fourth home run of the year, scoring Soriano, Theriot and Lee, giving the Cubs a 6-4 lead. That would end up being the final score as the Phillies would be turned back in the ninth, with Kerry Wood recording his twenty-eight save of the year.
Cole Hamels would get another no-decision, as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up only one run on five hits and striking out six. Ryan Madson would face only three batters, giving up three earned runs on three hits. Chad Durbin would get the lost as he received his fifth blown save of the year, as he pitches a third of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits and a walk. His record is now 5-3 with a 2.19 ERA. J.C. Romero would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs and no hits. Ryan Dempster would also get a no-decision as he goes six innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits and four walks, while striking out seven. Sean Marshall would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Bob Howry would get the win as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. His record is now 6-4 with a 5.31 ERA. Kerry Wood would get the save, his twenty-eighth of the year, as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit.
For the second straight night, the Phillies’ bullpen would blow a lead in the eighth inning, now showing itself to maybe getting overworked. It would seem that one or two of the starter(s) might have to go eight full innings if they want to avoid any more eight innings blow ups like in the last two games. Either that, or Charlie Manuel is going to have to find someone who is fresh enough to act as the eighth inning bridge to Brad Lidge. Scott Eyre maybe? Just a suggestion, Chuck.
The Phillies (73-61) will continue their four games series with the Cubs (84-50, 1st National League Central). The game will be played in Wrigley Field and will start at 2:20 pm Eastern (1:20 pm Central). The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (6-12 (1-0), 4.75), who is coming off a no-decision against the Dodgers on August 24, as he went six innings, giving up just one earned run on six hits, in the Phillies’ 5-2 extra-inning win. He has never pitched against the Cubs and will be trying to pitched his fourth quality start since his trade to the Phils and his second win, while trying to end the Phillies’ present two games slide. The Cubs will counter with Rich Harden (9-2 (4-1), 2.00), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on August 24, as he went seven innings, giving up only an earned run on two hits and striking out eleven, in the Cubs’ 6-1 win. He has faced the Phillies once before on June 26 as a member of the A’s, giving up no runs on two hits and striking out eleven in eight innings of work, in the A’s 5-0 win. He will be trying for his tenth win, while hoping to once again defeat the Phils.
With the lost, the Phillies trail the Mets by a full game, and are ahead of the Marlins by five games, as the Mets prepare to meet the Marlins for three games in Miami. The Phillies will be trying to recover from their last two loses while trying to see if they can regain first place during the series between the Mets and the Marlins.