The Padres took the lead in the first as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Chase Headley hits an RBI double, knocking in Will Venable, who had started the inning off with a bunt single, then reached second base as Phils’ starter Joe Blanton misread a slow doubleplay grounder to the mound by Mark Kotsay, allowing it to bounce over his head, for a force attempt, fielding error, giving the Padres a 1-0 lead, while sending Kotsay, who had been safe at first on the error as he beat shortstop’s Jimmy Rollins throw to first, would stop at third base. The Padres then took a 2-0 lead as Nick Hundley hits a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Kotsay from third, before Venable is thrown out trying to move up to third base, 9-5, on a good throw by center fielder Shane Victorino, for the inning’s second out. The Phils would get a run back in the second as, with two men on, and with two men out, Juan Pierre would hit a single to right, which would send Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second base on Freddy Galvis’ ground out, 2-3, to third base, and Joe Blanton, who had just walked, up to second base, before Ruiz would be sent home as right fielder Venable committed a fielding error on the ball, cutting the Padres lead down to 2-1. The Padres would get the run back in the third as, with a man on first, and with two men out, Hundley hits an RBI triple, knocking in Headley, who had just walked, giving the Padres a 3-1 lead. The Padres then made it a 4-0 lead as Yonder Alonso reached first base on Jim Thome’s fielding error, allowing Hundley to score. The Padres then added to their lead in the sixth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Hundley hits a two-run home run, his second home run of the season, scoring Headley, who had just walked, giving the Padres a 6-0 lead. That would end up being the final score as Victorino ended the game by grounding out, 2-3, for the game’s final out.
Joe Blanton (1-3, 4.34) took the lost as he went six innings, giving up six runs, only three of which were earned, on seven hits and two walks, while he struck out two. Joe Savery pitched two 1-2-3 innings. Anthony Bass (1-2, 2.33) got the win as he pitched six strong innings, giving up just a run on three hits and five walks, while he struck out seven. Joe Thatcher, Luke Gregerson and Ernesto Frieri combined for three scoreless innings, giving up five hits (Thatcher (1), Gregerson (3), Ernesto (1)) between them, while striking out four (Thatcher (1), Gregerson (1), Frieri (2)).
The Phils had only eight hits in the game, with Juan Pierre leading the team with three singles, as he raised his batting average to .326, with Jimmy Rollins following with two hits, both singles. Jim Thome (Single), Ty Wigginton (Single) and Carlos Ruiz (Double) had the other three Phils’ hits. The Phils had no RBIs in the game as their only run had scored on a Padres’ fielding error. The Phils, who had some very sloppy defense in the ballgame, as they committed three errors, and several other bad plays, to go along with their presently anemic batting, as they were unable to capitalize on a few scoring opportunities, had five walks and two stolen bases (Rollins (3 & 4)) in the ballgame. The team continues to leave a ton of runners on base, as they went only 1 for 9 in RISP opportunities.
The Phils (7-9, 5th East) will conclude their western road trip with a three-game series with the Diamondbacks (8-8, 3rd West) starting with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Chase Field, and it will start at 9:40 pm EDT (6:40 pm MDT). The Phils will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (0-0, 1.93), who will be taking Cliff Lee’s spot in the rotation as he recovers from his left oblique strain. Kendrick last pitched in relief on April 17 against the Giants, as he pitched two scoreless innings, giving up two hits and a walk, while striking out a batter, in the Phils’ 4-2 lost. He will be seeing if he can keep the Phils in the game, while working on a pitch count. The D-backs will counter with Wade Miley (1-0, 3.12), who is also coming out of the bullpen to make the start. His last appearance was in relief against the Braves on April 19, as he went one and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out a batter, in the D-backs’ 10-2 lost. He will be seeing if he can continue the Phils’ batting troubles. The Phils hope that they can get some batting going in another park that have been a known house of horrors for them.
The Phils took the lead in the first as, with runners on the corners, and with nobody out, Jimmy Rollins hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Juan Pierre, who had earlier walked, then moved up to second base on Placido Polanco’s single to left, before going on to third on left fielder Will Venable’s fielding error, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Phils threaten to add more as Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino followed with singles, loading up the bases, but Padres’s starter, rookie Joe Wieland, is able to get out of the inning, as he first got John Mayberry, Jr. to pop out to the second baseman, putting the infield fly rule into effect, and then getting Carlos Ruiz to hit into a force out, 6-4, wiping out Victorino at second base, for the inning’s final out. The game would then become a pitchers’ duel between Wieland, who would settle down and allow the Phils to have only two more hits against him, as he struck out seven, as the offense continue to have its problem putting together rallies, and then the Padres’ bullpen, and Phils’ starter Vance Worley, who would pitch an excellent game against the Padres, as he struck out a career-high eleven Padres, while pitching out of a man on third, no outs, jam in the second, and then a first and third, one man out, jam in the fifth, as he struck out Jeremy Hermida, swinging, for the inning’s second out, before Ruiz would throw to second base, trying to catch stealing Chase Headley, who had just singled, who then stopped in front of second base as Rollins catches the ball, trying to start a run down so that Venable, who had started the inning off with a single, then moved up to second base on Cameron Maybin’s sacrifice bunt, 1-3, for the inning’s first out, and then went up to third base on Headley’s single, could head for home during the run down to tie up the ballgame, but, Rollins did not bite, and instead threw home, beating Venable to the plate, as Ruiz put on the tag for the inning’s final out, keeping it a 1-o Phils’ lead, and then, finally, a two on, two out, jam in the seventh, as he struck out pinch hitter Mark Kotsay, looking. The Phils finally added an insurance run in the ninth as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Pence, who had earlier walked, then stopped at third base on Victorino’s single to left, as he was running on the pitch, would score on catcher John Baker’s passed ball, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead, while sending Victorino, who had earlier stole second base, on to third. That would be the final score as Jonathan Papelbon recorded his fourth save of the season as he threw a scoreless bottom of the ninth, striking out Jason Bartlett, looking, for the game’s final out.
Vance Worley (1-1, 2.37) got the win as he threw seven scoreless innings, giving up four hits and three walks, while he struck a career high eleven batters. Chad Qualls collected his third hold of the year as he threw a scoreless inning, giving up a walk. Jonathan Papelbon received his fourth save of the year as he also threw a scoreless inning, walking a batter. Joe Wieland (0-2, 5.73) took the lost as he went six innings, giving up a run on five hits and a walk, while striking out seven. Luke Gregerson and Andrew Cashner combined for two 1-2-3 innings, striking out a batter (Gregorson) between them. Ernesto Frieri pitched an inning, giving up ann unearned run on a hit, a walk and a passed ball, as he struck out two.
The Phils had only six hits in the ballgame, with Juan Pierre (Single, Triple) and Shane Victorino (Singles) leading the team with two hits apiece. Placido Polanco and Hunter Pence had the other two Phils hits, both singles. Jimmy Rollins had the Phil’s only RBI as he hit a sacrifice fly, while the other Phil run came in on a passed ball, as the Phils continue to waste scoring opportunities when they are presented to them. The Phils also had two walks and a stolen base (Victorino (8)) in the ballgame.
The Phils (6-7, 5th East) continues their series with the Padres (3-11, 5th West) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Petco Park, and will start at 10:05 pm EDT (7:05 pm PDT). The Phils will send to the mound Cole Hamels (1-1, 3.65), who is coming off a win against the Mets on April 15, as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out ten, in the Phils’ 8-2 win. He will be going for his second straight win, while trying to give the Phils another pitching gem on this road trip, while hoping that the offense will final get out of its current scoring funk. The Padres will counter with Edinson Volquez (0-1, 4.24), who is coming off a no-decision against the Dodgers on April 15, as he threw five innings, giving up four runs on six hits and five walks, as he struck out only two, in the Padres’ 5-4 lost. He is still looking for his first win, as he hope he can take advantage of the Phils’ present batting troubles. The Phils will be out for their thirteen straight win at Petco Park, after last night setting the club record for the most wins at an opposing ballpark.
The Phils lose their first series of the young season as they are goose egged by the Brewers, 9-0.
The Brewers took a 1-0 lead in the second as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, George Kottaras hits an RBI single, knocking in Yuniesky Betancourt, who had just doubled, before going to second base on the throw home. The Brewers made it a 2-0 lead in the third as, again with two men out, Ryan Braun hits a solo home run, his fifth home run of the year. The Brewers then increased their lead in the sixth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Mark Kotsay hits an RBI single, knocking in Braun, who had earlier walked, then moved up to second base on Prince Fielder’s single, giving the Brewers a 3-0 lead, while sending Fielder, who had just singled, to second base. The Brewers then took a 4-0 lead in the seventh as, with two men on, and with two men out, Fielder hits an RBI single, scoring Rickie Weeks, who had earlier singled, then went to second on catcher’s Carlos Ruiz’s throwing error, while sending Braun, who had just walked, over to third. This would lead to Roy Halladay being replaced by David Herndon. Casey McGehee would welcome Herndon by hitting a three-run home run, his second home run of the season, scoring both Braun and Fielder, as he busted the game wide open, giving the Brewers a 7-0 lead. Four batters later, with the bases loaded, via a walk to Kotsay, a single to Betancourt, sending Kotsay to second base, and after Herndon is replaced on the mound by Mike Zagurski, a walk to Kottaras, moving both runners up a base, and with still two men out, the Brewers took a 9-0 lead on a single by pinch hitter Erick Almonte, knocking in both Kotsay and Betancourt, while sending Kottaras up to second base. That would be the final score as the Phils would go weakly in the last three innings.
Roy Halladay (2-1, 2.83) took the lost as he went six and two-thirds innings, giving up six runs on ten hits and two walks, while striking out only three. Not one of his better starts. David Herndon pitched to three batters, getting none of them out, as he gave up three runs on two hits and a walk. Mike Zugurski pitched a third of an inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Danys Baez pitched two scoreless innings, giving up a walk. Randy Wolf (2-2, 3.18) got the win as he pitched six strong innings, giving up only two hits and three walks, while striking out five. Sean Green, Zack Braddock and Mike McClendon combined for three scoreless innings, giving up just a walk (McClendon) between them.
The Phils had only two hits in the ballgame, a double by Shane Victorino and a single by Jimmy Rollins. The offense did not do anything last night, other than play dead.
The Phils (10-6, 1st) will conclude their series with the Brewers (9-8, T-1st) with an afternoon game, already in progress. The Phils will be trying to avoid a sweep.
Kyle Kendrick’s bad relief appearance allow the Brewers to win in extra-innings, as the Phils lose in twelve innings, 6-3.
The Phils took the lead in the first as, with two men on, and with one out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI single, scoring Placido Polanco, who had earlier singled, then was safe at second base on second baseman Rickie Weeks force out attempt fielding error of Jimmy Rollins’ grounder, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while sending Rollins, who was safe at first on Weeks’ fielding error, would stop at second base. The Brewers tied it up at one-all in the top of the third as, with a man on second, and with two men out, Carlos Gomez hits an RBI single, knocking in Jonathan Lucroy, who had earlier singled, then went to second base on Shaun Marcus’ sacrifice bunt, 3-unassisted, before moving up to second base on the throw to the plate. The Brewers then took a 2-1 lead as Ryan Braun hits an RBI single, knocking in Gomez. The Phils then tied the game up at two-all in seventh as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Shane Victorino gets an RBI as he hits a grounder to first that Prince Fielder threw wide to home plate, allowing Wilson Valdez, who had reached first on Casey McGehee’s fielding error, then stopped at third on pinch hitter Ross Gload’s single, to score, while sending pinch runner Michael Martinez, who was running for Gload, to second base on the fielder’s choice attempt. The Phils’ attempt to take the lead is then foiled as Polanco’s liner towards the second base bag is deflected off of Sergio Mitre’s body and is caught in the air by Yuniesky Betancourt for the inning’s second out, before he throws to Weeks at second base to double up Martinez, who was running on the play, for a 1-6-4 doubleplay. The Brewers retook the lead in the eighth as, with runners on second and third, and with one man out, Betancourt hits into an RBI ground out, 6-3, scoring Braun, who had earlier singled, then went to third on Fielder’s double, giving the Brewers a 3-2 lead. The Phils then retied the game up at three-all in the ninth as, with a man on second, and with one out, pinch hitter Pete Orr hits an RBI single, knocking in Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier walked, then moved up to second base on Valdez’s sacrifice bunt, 1-3, while Orr would stop at second on the late throw to the plate. After the game goes into extra-innings, neither team would get a threat going until the top of the twelfth when, with runners on the corners, via a walk by Weeks, a throwing error by Kyle Kendrick on a sacrifice bunt by Gomez, allowing Weeks to reach third base, while Gomez stayed at first, and with nobody out. Braun hits a deep sacrifice fly, scoring Weeks, giving the Brewers a 4-3 lead. Three batters later, with the bases now loaded, thanks to Fielder being hit by the pitch, sending Gomez to second base, a wild pitch by Kendrick sending the runners to second and third base, and an intentional walked to McGehee, and with still one man out, Betancourt hits a sac fly, scoring Gomez, giving the Brewers a 5-3 lead, while sending Fielder to third base, and McGehee up to second base on the throw to the plate. Two batters later, after Mark Kotsay is intentionally walk to reload the bases, the Brewers took a 6-3 lead as Lucroy hits an RBI single, knocking in Fielder, before McGehee is thrown out at home plate, 9-2, to end the inning. That would be the final score as Brandon Kintzler gets the win by holding the Phils down in their half of the twelfth.
Joe Blanton got a no-decision as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out four. Ryan Madson pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. J.C. Romero pitched two-thirds of an inning, before being taken out as he sustained an injury, giving up a hit. David Herndon pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Jose Contreras pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Antonio Bastardo pitched a scoreless inning, walking a batter. Kyle Kendrick (1-0, 3.00) took the lost as he pitched an inning, giving up three runs, only one of which was earned, on a hit and three walks. Shaun Marcus also received a no-decision as he pitched six innings, giving up an unearned run on five hits, as he struck out five. Sean Green recorded his first hold of the year as he pitched one-third of an inning, giving up an unearned run on one hit. Sergio Mitre received his first blown save of the season as he pitched two-thirds of an inning. Kameron Loe recorded his fifth hold of the season as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. John Axford blew his second save attempt of the season as he gave up a run on a hit and two walks, while striking out a batter. Mitch Stetter recorded a scoreless inning, as he struck out a batter. Brandon Kintzler (1-0, 3.38) gets the win as he pitched two scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk. As Joe Blanton pitched a good game, J.C. Romero would go down trying to field a grounder in the ninth, before Kyle Kenrdick would blow it for the Phils with a bad twelfth inning.
The Phils had nine hits in the game, with Placido Polanco and Ryan Howard both leading the team with two hits each, both singles, with Howard knocking in a run. Shane Victorino (RBI), Raul Ibanez, Wilson Valdez, pinch hitter Ross Gload and pinch hitter Pete Orr (RBI), had the other five Phils’ hits, all singles. The offense was once again slow to get going, although hitting into a bit of buzzard’s luck in the seventh, before blowing an opportunity to win in the ninth as Victorino struck out on a 3-2 high fastball, before Jimmy Rollins ended the inning by popping up to the shortstop on a 3-1 fastball.
The Phils (10-5, 1st NL East) will continue their three-game series with the Brewers (8-8, T-2nd NL Central), with a game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park, and will begin at 7:05 pm EDT. Roy Halladay (2-0, 1.23) will start the game for the Phils, as he is coming off a complete game win against the Nationals on April 13, as he gave up two runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out nine, in the Phils’ 3-2 win. He will be going for his third win of the season, while trying to tie up the series for the Phils. The Brewers will counter with Randy Wolf (1-2, 4.32), who is coming off a win against the Pirates on April 14, as he went six and two-thirds innings, giving up just three hits and two walks, while striking out ten, in the Brewers’ 4-1 win. He will be trying to give the Brewers the series win. The Phils will be trying to get back on the winning track while hoping that their ace will give them another good performance.
The Phillies would use a combination of the long ball and situational hitting to come from behind again to defeat the Braves as they win their first series of the second half, 12-10. It didn’t look that way at the start as the Braves would score two runs in the top of the first off of Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton. With two men on and one out, Brian McCann would hit a RBI single, scoring Yunel Escobar, who has earlier singled, making it 1-0 Braves. Mark Kotsay would follow with a RBI double, scoring Mark Teixeira, who has earlier walked, to give the Braves a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the second, with Eric Bruntlett batting, the rain would come down, delaying the game for over two hours. The long rain delay would force the removal of both teams’ starters, Blanton and Jorge Campillo. The Braves would increase their lead in the top of the fourth off of Adam Eaton. With a runner on second and one out, Eaton would give up a two-run home run to Kelly Johnson, his ninth home run of the year, scoring Kotsay, who has earlier singled, to make it 4-0 Braves. Omar Infante would follow with a solo shot, his second home run of the year, to give the Braves a 5-0 lead. The Phillies would then come back in their half of the fourth. With two men out, and a runner on first, Chris Coste would hit a two-run home run, his eighth home run of the year, scoring Jayson Werth, who has earlier walked, cutting the Braves’ lead to 5-2. The next batter, pinch hitter So Taguchi would then get on base with a pinch single. Jimmy Rollins would follow by working a walk. Shane Victorino would then hit a three-run home run, his eighth home run of the year, scoring Taguchi and Rollins, tying the game at five all. In the fifth, the Phillies will take the lead as Pat Burrell would hit a solo home run, his twenty-sixth home run of the year, making it 6-5 Phillies. The Phils would then break the game wide open in the sixth. With Royce Ring now on the mound, he would be greeted by pinch hitter Carlos Ruiz with a pinch double. Ruiz would then go to third on a single by Rollins. Victorino would follow with a RBI single, scoring Ruiz, and sending Rollins to second to make the score 7-5 Phillies. Chase Utley would then strike out, making the first out of the inning. With Ryan Howard at the plate, Rollins and Victorino would perform a double steal, with Victorino just beating McCann’s throw from behind home plate. Howard would then hit a RBI single with the infield pulled in, scoring Rollins easily, and then scoring Victorino, as he knocks over McCann, as McCann tries to catch left fielder Jeff Francoeur’s throw from left on one hop, and then tries to turn around quickly to tag out Victorino, making it 9-5 Phillies. McCann would then lay on the ground for the next several minutes, with Victorino and Rollins, among others, looking to see if he was alright, before he is finally taken out of the game, and replaced by Corky Miller. Meanwhile, Royce is replaced on the mound by Blaine Boyer. Burrell would then fly out for the second out of the inning. Werth would then follow with a two-run home run, his fourteenth home run, to give the Phillies an 11-5 lead. Bruntlett would then end the inning by flying out. In the seventh, Rollins would increase the Phillies’ lead by hitting a solo home run, his seventh home run of the year, to give the Phils a 12-5 lead. The Braves would then make it close in the eighth. With Rudy Seanez on the mound, Kotsay would start the inning off with a single. After Francoeur pops up for the first out of the inning, Johnson would get on base with a walk, sending Kotsay to second. Infante would follow with a RBI double, scoring Kotsay and sending Johnson to third, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 12-6. Greg Norton would then load the bases as Seanez commits an error on his ground ball. Ryan Madson is then brought in to relieve Seanez. Gregor Blanco would then walk, scoring Johnson, while leaving the bases loaded as the Phillies now lead 12-7. Escobar would then pop out to Bruntlett in foul territory for the second out of the inning. Pinch hitter Martin Prado would then hit a double that a diving Werth would be unable to catch, scoring Infante, Norton and Blanco after it gets past Werth, making it a 12-10 Phillies’ lead. Madson would finally end the inning by getting Miller to ground out, third to first. In the ninth, Brad Lidge would proceed to nail down his twenty-fourth save of the year to finally end the ballgame.
Joe Blanton would get a no-decision thanks to the rain delay, as he pitches two innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits. Adam Eaton would also pitch two innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits. Clay Condrey would get the win as he pitches two innings, giving up no runs on one hit. His record is now 3-2 with a 3.72 ERA. J.C. Romero would go an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Rudy Seanez would go one-third of an inning, giving up four earned runs on two hits. Ryan Madson would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Brad Lidge would pitch an inning, as he records his twenty-fourth save of the year, giving up no runs on no hits. Jorge Campillo would also pitch a no-decision because of the rain delay, going one and two-thirds innings, giving up no runs on two hits. Jo-Jo Reyes would go two and two-thirds innings, giving up five earned runs on four hits. Julian Tavarez would take the lost as he goes two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. His record is now 0-3 with a 6.48 ERA.Royce Ring would pitch a third of an inning, giving up four earned runs on four hits. Blaine Boyer would pitch two-thirds of an innings, giving up a run on one hit. Buddy Carlyle would pitch an inning, giving up one run on one hit. Will Ohman would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits.
The Phillies (56-49) have finally won their first series of the second half as well as the short home stand, while also starting a two game winning streak. For the second straight game the Phillies’ offense would score ten or more runs, this time with them doing it with a combination of the long ball and situational hitting. Does this mean that the offense is back? I’m going to wait until after the next several series before saying yes or no. The next Phillies’ game will be played on Tuesday as they meet the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park.
With the win, the Phillies continue to trail the Mets by a game, as they won their game against the Cardinals. The Marlins would drop to third place, a game behind the Phillies, as they lost to the Cubs. The Braves now trail the Phillies by six and a half games. As the Phillies take the day off before starting their series with the Nationals in D.C., the Mets go to Miami to start a three games series with the Marlins, while the Braves prepare for a four games series with the Cardinals.
The Phillies used situational baseball to come from behind to defeat the Braves after it looked like they had finally imploded in the top of the fourth inning. The Phillies would score the game’s first runs in the second inning. Ryan Howard would start the inning off by getting on first base with a walk. He would be followed by a double from Pat Burrell, which would put runners on second and third with nobody out. Jayson Werth would then follow with a ground out, third to first, for the first out of the inning, doing what the Phillies’ batters have been doing too much of lately, hitting a ball to an opposing player with less than two outs, unable to score the runner(s) on base. Eric Bruntlett is then intentionally walked to load the bases. Chris Coste would follow him with a two-run double, scoring Howard and Burrell, making it 2-0 Phillies, while sending Bruntlett to second. Cole Hamels would then bunt the runners over to third and second base respectively, while making the second out of the inning. Unfortunately, Jimmy Rollins would then end the inning with a ground ball to the pitcher. The Phillies would increase their lead in the third, as Chase Utley would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Shane Victorino, who has earlier tripled, to make it 3-0 Phillies. But then the roof would appear to fall in on the Phillies and Cole Hamels in the fourth. The inning would begin with Hamels giving up a walk to Yunel Escobar. Mark Teixeira would follow with a single, sending Escobar to second. Hamels would then walk Brian McCann to load the bases with Braves. The next batter, Omar Infante, would then hit a two-run RBI double into left field, scoring both Escobar and Teixeira, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 3-2, while sending McCann to third. Jeff Francoeur would then hit a sacrifice fly for the first out of the inning, sending home McCann with the tying run, while Infante stayed at second. Martin Prado would then hit a grounder to second that was stopped by Utley. But instead of getting back up, picking up the ball and throwing out Prado, Utley would look at Prado and tried to pick up the ball at the same time, and dropped the ball, committing the first error of the inning, and leaving runners on the corners as Infante moved up to third. The next batter, Mark Kotsay would then hit a RBI single, scoring Infante and sending Prado to second, giving the Braves a 4-3 lead. Mike Hampton then followed with a ground ball right to Hamels. Instead of taking his time and throwing the ball straight to Rollins at second base to start a 1-6-3 double play to end the inning, he would throw the ball away as he throws it to where Rollins had originally started out, allowing Prado to score, Kotsay to reach third, and Hampton to be safe at first, on the second error of the inning, making it 5-3 Braves. Gregor Blanco would then follow with a single, scoring Kotsay and sending Hampton to second, as the Braves increased their lead to 6-3. Escobar, who has originally started the inning, would come up for the second time, but this time he would fly out to right for the second out of the inning. Teixeira would then come up for the second time and cap off the disastrous inning by hitting a three-run home run off of Hamels, his twentieth home run of the year, giving the Braves a 9-3 lead, and what looks to be the final knockout blow to the Phillies’ season. Charlie Manuel would after that finally come out and take a very snake bitten Hamels out of the game, replacing him with Rudy Seanez. Seanez would then end the inning with one pitch as he gets McCann to pop up to Utley, although that almost became a disaster in itself as the ball almost got away from him as it came back down. After Adam Eaton have come into his first game since being sent down to the bullpen after the Joe Blanton trade and put down the Braves in the top of the fifth, the Phillies’ batter would go after Braves’ starter Mike Hampton as they used something that they have not done for a while, playing situational baseball. Rollins would start the inning off with a single. Victorino would then hit a grounder towards deep shortstop that would be picked up by Braves’ shortstop Escobar, who would end up having no play, thus becoming an infield single as Rollins’ speed would allow him to get to second. Utley would then follow them with a single that would load the bases with Phillies. Hampton would then be taken out of the game at this point, replaced by Royce Ring. Howard would greet Ring with a two-run RBI single, scoring both Rollins and Victorino, cutting the Braves’ lead to 9-5, while sending Utley to third. Bobby Cox would then come out for the second time in the inning, and replace Ring with Blaine Boyer. Burrell would then hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Utley, making it 9-6 Braves. Werth would follow with a single, sending Howard to second. Bruntlett would then hit a deep fly ball to center, but Howard would stay at second, instead of going to third. It at first look like a base running blunder, but the next batter, Coste would hit a RBI single in the hole between first and second, allowing Howard to score, making it now a 9-7 Braves’ lead. Greg Dobbs would then come up to pinch hit for Eaton. On a 1-2 pitch, he would crush the ball into the second deck in right field for a three-run home run, his third home run of the year, and his team record tying twentieth pinch hit of the season, scoring both Werth and Coste, giving the Phillies a 10-9 lead. Rollins would then come up for the second time and tried to bunt himself back on. He would instead be thrown out by Boyer. The Phillies would then hold on, as Ryan Madson, Chad Durbin and J.C. Romero would combine for three shut out innings in which they would keep the Braves at bay, before the ball is finally handed over to Brad Lidge in the ninth, who would redeem himself for his previous night’s implosion by getting the Braves to go 1-2-3 for his twenty-third straight save without blowing it, breaking the team record that was originally set by Billy Wagner.
Cole Hamels would get a no-decision as he pitches three and two-thirds innings, giving up nine runs, four of which were earned, on six hits and three walks, two of whom would later score. Rudy Seanez would pitch a third of an inning, getting one man out on one pitch. Adam Eaton would get the win, as he pitched one inning, giving up no runs on one hits. Eaton’s record is now 4-8 with a 5.66 ERA. Ryan Madson, Chad Durbin and J.C. Romero would each pitch a scoreless inning, although Durbin would also pitch to one batter in the eighth, giving up only two hits (Durbin), while walking four. Brad Lidge would get a 1-2-3 inning, recording his twenty-third straight save without blowing one. Mike Hampton would also get a no-decision as he pitches four innings plus three batters, giving up six earned runs on six hits. Royce Ring would only pitch to one batter, giving up a single. Blaine Boyer would get the lost as he pitches an inning, giving up three earned runs on three hits. His record is now 2-6 with a 4.18 ERA. Will Ohman, Rafael Soriano and Julian Tavarez would each pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits to the Phillies.
I don’t know which one I am more shocked by, the implosion in the fourth inning, or the comeback in the fifth, using situational hitting. Seeing the Phillies collapse the way they did in the top of the fourth seems to show the way the Phillies have been screwing up so far this season, especially with Hamels throwing away the double play ground ball because he have been feeling frustrated up to that point in the inning, when he needed to just take his time and throw to Rollins at second for the second out of the inning, to lead to the end of the inning with a double play, and then to follow that up a few batters later by throwing up a home run pitch to Mark Teixeira in what, to me at least, seems to be the final collapse of the Phillies’ season. But then, to watch the team come back the way they did in the fifth inning, and doing it by using some situational hitting, something that they finally seems to be able to do, appear to show that the team isn’t dead yet. But, I’m going to wait to see if they can continue doing this for a while before thinking that the run machine is finally back and is now running once again on all cylinders.
The Phillies (55-49) will finish their three games weekend series with the Braves (49-54) this afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 1:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Joe Blanton (5-12, 5.00), who is coming off a so-so start against the Mets on July 22, where he would go six innings, giving up five earned runs on eight hits, in the Phillies’ dramatic come from behind 8-6 win. This will be his first ever start against the Braves as he try to continue adjusting to pitching to National League batters while trying to help the Phillies get their first series win of the second half. The Braves will counter with Jorge Campillo (5-4, 2.83), who is coming off a win against the Marlins, where he went seven innings, giving up no earned runs on two hits. He has pitched four time against the Phillies, twice in relief and twice as a starter, being 0-1 with a no-decision against them as a starter, and 0-0 as a reliever, pitching a combine total of thirteen and two-thirds innings, giving up eight earned runs on twenty-one hits. He will be trying to do better than he did in his last start against them, while trying to help the Braves will the series.
The Phillies stayed tied with the Marlins in second place, both now traling the Mets by a game, as the Mets have lost their game with the Cardinals in extra-innings. The Braves still trail the two second place teams by five and a half games. The Phillies will be trying for their first series win of the second half.
The Phillies would end up wasting another good effort by one of their starters, this time by Kyle Kendrick, before the Braves would finally explode for seven runs in the ninth off of the Phillies’ relief corps. Kendrick and Braves’ starter Jair Jurrjens would be involved in a six innings long pitchers’ duel, with the only run scored during this time being on a solo home run off of Kendrick by Brian McCann, his nineteenth home run of the year, giving the Braves a 1-0 lead, while Kendrick constantly got himself out of trouble, keeping the Braves from scoring any more runs during his time on the mound. In the meantime, the Phillies’ offense would be unable to do anything against Jurrjens, constantly going down 1-2-3. The Braves would break the game wide open in the ninth as they become the first team to score more than a run off of Phillies’ closer Brad Lidge as he came in to pitch the ninth to try and keep the Phillies within striking distance of the Braves. Pinch hitter Greg Norton would greet Lidge with a pinch hit double off of the wall in center. Gregor Blanco would then get on base as he would beat out the throw from third basemen Greg Dobbs on a bunt attempt to move Norton up to third, which would instead be recorded as a single. Yunel Escobar would then walk, loading the bases. Mark Teixeira would follow with a RBI single, scoring Norton to make it 2-0 Braves, while leaving the bases loaded. The next batter, McCann, would then hit a grand slam home run, his twentieth home run of the year, scoring Blanco, Escobar and Teixeira, giving the Braves a 6-0 lead. Charlie Manuel would then come out and remove Lidge, replacing him with Clay Condrey. After Condrey gets Mark Kotsay to pop up for the first out of the inning, he would give up a double to Jeff Francoeur. He would then give up a RBI double to Kelly Johnson, scoring Kotsay, to make it a 7-0 Braves’ lead. Omar Infante would then follow with a RBI single, scoring Johnson and giving the Braves a 8-0 lead. in the bottom of the ninth, the Phillies would score their only runs of the game as Ryan Howard would, with two outs, hit a two-run home run, his thirtieth home run of year, scoring Chase Utley, who has earlier singled, to make it 8-2 Braves. That would end up being the final score as Will Ohman would get Pat Burrell to fly out for the final out.
Kyle Kendrick would pitch a good game, even if he had to constantly pitch himself out of trouble, but still takes the lost because of lack of offensive support, as he goes six innings, giving up only one earned run on seven hits. His record is now 8-5 with a 4.70 ERA. J.C. Romero and Chad Durbin would both pitch a scoreless inning, with both giving up no hits. Brad Lidge would get rocked by the Braves as he faced five batters, getting no one out as he gives up five earned runs on four hits and a walk. Clay Condrey would pitch an inning, giving up two earned runs on three hits and a walk. Jair Jurrjens would get the win, as he pitched an excellent game against the Phillies, pitching eight innings, giving up no runs on three hits. Will Ohman would pitch an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits.
Man, this is getting to be a broken record. The Phillies’ starter pitches a quality start, going six or more innings, and leaves the game either trailing by a few runs, or just barely leading, as the Phillies’ offense can’t seem to get anything started. And to make matters worst, one of the reliever would then come in and get tagged for several runs late in the game, with closer Brad Lidge this time being the victim as he gets lighted up for five runs, followed by Clay Condrey, who gets tagged for two more. I am not going to say anything more about the witless Phillies’ offense except for this: THEY STINK!!!!! THEY ROT!!! THEY REEK!!! THEY MAKE GARBAGE LOOK GOOD BY COMPARISION!!! End of story! GRUMBLE!!!!
The weekend series continues tomorrow as the Phillies (54-49) play the Braves (49-53) in an afternoon game at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 3:55 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be ace Cole Hamels (9-6, 3.11), who is coming off of a no-decision against the Marlins on July 20, going eight innings as he gives up only two earned runs on four hits. Hamels has faced the Braves two times already this year, having a 2-0 record against them, going a combined total of seventeen and two-thirds innings, giving up only one earned run on nine hits. Hamels will for the fourth straight week try to notch his tenth win of the year while pondering if the Phillies’ batters will finally give him some runs support, after pitching three straight quality starts with little support. The Braves will be sending to the mound Mike Hampton (0-0, _.__), who will be making his first start at the major league level since 2005. He will be looking for his first win of the year, while hoping to continue the Phillies present offensive woes.
The Phillies are now tied for second place with the Marlins, both teams now trailing the Mets by two games, as the Mets have won their game with the Cardinals. The Phillies now lead the Braves by four and a half games after the lost. The Phillies continue in free fall, as they have just lost their fifth game in the second half, wondering when they are going to start breaking out the bats and score runs.