Tagged: Matt Stairs

News from the broadcast booth…

Philadelphia_PhilliesOn Monday, the Phils and Comcast officially announced that Jamie Moyer and Matt Stairs will join the broadcast team, starting with spring training games. Jamie Moyers will be in the booth, broadcasting games for Comcast, MLB.TV and WPHL-17 for 109 games, while Stairs will broadcast 108 games, with their first broadcast being today’s opening Grapefruit League game between the Phils and the Blue Jays.  A day later, the Phils confirmed that Hall of Famer, Mike Schmidt, will also be in the broadcast booth, broadcasting Sunday home games.

Meanwhile, the people whom Moyers and Stairs have replaced, Garry Matthews and Chris Wheeler, are still with the Phils, planning to act as goodwill ambassadors for the organization during the season, while Matthews is presently involved with the players in Clearwater acting as a guest instructor.

A few things had occurred since my last post…

Philadelphia_PhilliesFirst. yesterday, former Phil Roy Oswalt announced that he was officially retiring, as he signed a one-day contract with the Astros so that he could officially retire as an Astros. Oswalt, who is an fourteen-year veteran, ten of which was spent as an Astros, was a member of the Phils for part of the 2010 season and part of the 2011 season, during which he complied a winning record of 16-11. Oswalt would also play for the Rangers and the Rockies. Oswalt, during his career, would be the NL leader for ERA in 2006 with a 2.98 ERA, wins in 2004 with 20, games started with 35 games in both 2004 and 2005 and in WHIP in 2010 with a 1.03 WHIP. He was also a member of the 2005 Astros team that would win the NL pennant before losing to the White Sox in that year’s World Series, being swept by Chicago, 4-0. Overall, Oswalt had a career record of 163-102 with a 3.36 ERA as he pitched in 365 games, 341 of which were starts, as he completed 20 games, including 8 shutouts. He would pitch in 2245.1 innings, giving up 2199 hits and 897 runs, 838 of which were earned, as he struck out 1852 batters, while walking only 520. I wish you luck in your retirement, Roy.

Then, the Phils announced that Comcast plans to hire both Jamie Moyer and Matt Stairs to replace Chris Wheeler and Garry Matthews inside the TV broadcast booth, starting this season during Spring Training. Congratulations, guys. Hope you both do well in the broadcast booth.

Lastly, the Phils announced that they have just signed starter A.J. Burnett, who they have been pursuing during the off-season, to a one-year contract worth $16 million dollars. Burnett, who had pitched for the Pirates last year and in 2012, is coming off a 10-11 season, with a 3.30 ERA, as he pitched in 30 games, all starts, with a complete game, as he threw in 191 innings, giving up 165 hits and 79 runs, 70 of which were earned, as he struck out 209 batters, while walking only 67. Burnett, who has also pitched for the Marlins, the Blue Jays and the Yankees, being a member of the 2009 World Championship team, has a 147-132 record with a 3.99 ERA, as he appeared in 375 games, starting 370 of them, as he threw 23 complete games, 10 of which were shutouts. He threw a total of 2353.2 innings, giving up 2140 hits and 1142 runs, 1043 of which were earned, as he struck out 2180 batters, while walking only 955. Welcome to the team, A.J.

Burnett’ll more than likely be the number three man in the starting rotation, after Cole Hamels starts pitching after the start of the season, as the Phils announced that Cole will miss opening day as he has developed tendinitis in his left bicep, which will keep him from throwing the ball for the next eight to ten days, and slow down his participation in spring training, although Cole has said that he should be ready to pitch at some point in April. I’m just hoping that it is only a minor setback, as the Phils will need Cole to back up Cliff Lee, if they expect to get anywhere this season.

Moves the Phils have made during the past off-season…

Philadelphia_PhilliesAs the Phils’ 2013 season wounded down, with the club wounding up in fourth place in the five-team NL East with a 73-89, .451 record, 23 games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves, the Phils first post-season move was to make interim manager, Hall of Famer Ryan Sandberg, the team’s 52nd manager, by signing him to a three-year contract on September 22, 2013. The Phils’ next move was to announce on September 30 that Rich Dubee was not returning as the team’s pitching coach, ending a nine season relationship with the Phils, as the team started to look for a new pitching coach. On that same day, they announced that they were promoting from the team’s Minor League system, Paul Fournier, as the team’s new strength and conditioning coach, replacing Doug Lien, who had held that position for the previous six seasons, as the club hopes to improve the team’s overall health.

The Phils next move was to make a shake-up in their 40 men roster as they outrighted infielders Michael Martinez and Pete Orr, right-handed pitcher Zach Miner and lefthander Mauricio Robles on October 3, while, on that same day, the Indians picked up right-hander Tyler Cloyd off of the waiver-wire, while the Astros picked up leftie Raul Valdes, opening up six spots on the roster.

Two days later, on October 5, the Phils announced that they would not be renewing the contract of bullpen catcher, Mick Billmeyer, who had been with the club since 2004, first as the catching instructor, then as the bullpen coach in 2009, before becoming the bullpen catcher in 2012. The next Phils move came from out of the blue as, on October 8, former Phils’ player and one time Phils’ manager, and fan favorite, Larry Bowa, rejoined the team as the new bench coach, while another ex-Phil, Pete Mackanin, would join the team as the new third base coach. The Phils also announced that Steve Henderson would remain as the team’s hitting coach while Wally Joyner would leave as the team’s assistant hitting coach, later being hired by the Detroit Tigers as their new hitting coach, while John Mizerock would later become the new assistant hitting coach and Jesus Tiamo would become the new catcher coach, as Juan Samuel would stay on as the team’s first base coach, while Rod Nichols would remain the bullpen coach.

The next move occurred on October 17 as John Lannan decided to become a free agent after he had been outrighted by the club, after refusing assignment.

Then on November 5, the Phils announced that they were hiring Scott Freedman to help the ballclub better understand the use of analytics in the evaluation of players. Seven days later, on November 12, the Phils announced their first free agent signing, as they signed right fielder Marlon Byrd to a two-year contract worth $16 million dollars. Byrd, who is a right-handed batter, and an ex-Phil, has played in the majors from 2002, having played for the Phils (2002-05), the Nats (2005-06), the Rangers (2007-09), the Cubs (2010-12), the Red Sox (2012), the Mets (2013) and the Pirates (2013), appearing in 1250 games, hitting .280 (1222 for 4367), knocking in 533 RBIs as he scored 600 times. Among his 1222 hits were 252 doubles, 32 triples and 106 HRs, while he has also walked 307 times. The Phils plan to use him in the line-up behind Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, the later of whom the team hopes will bounce back from several injuries plagued seasons and regain his form as the team’s RBI and home runs leader. The Phils next announced on November 15 that they have given four players minor league contracts with invites to spring training: right-hander Shawn Camp, left-hander Cesar Jimenez and outfielders Clete Thomas and Leandro Castro.

The Phils then announced on November 18 that they have resigned present catcher Carlos Ruiz to a three-year deal worth $26 million dollars with a team option of $4.5 million or a $500,000 buyout for 2017. The next day, the team announced that they have signed a minor league contract, with a spring training invitation, to infielder Reid Brignac, who would be competing for a utility infielder position with Kevin Frandsen and Freddy Galvis. On November 20, the Phils announced that they were adding four minor league prospects to their 40-man roster to keep them from being picked up by other teams in December’s 5-Rule draft: outfielders Aaron Altherr and Kelly Dugan, catcher Tommy Joseph and left-hander Rob Rasmussen.

The following day, November 22, the Phils signed Bob McClure as their new pitching coach, replacing Dubee. On that same day, they announced that they have signed infielder Andres Blanco to a minor league contract, with an invite to spring training.

On December 4, the Phils made a trade with the Blue Jays, receiving right-handed pitcher Brad Lincoln in exchange for catcher Erik Kratz and minor league pitcher Rasmussen. Lincoln, who has pitched for the Pirates and the Blue Jays (2010-13) has appeared in 97 games, 22 of which was as a starter, for a record of 9-11 with a 4.66 ERA. With one career save in two attempts, he has pitched in 220 games, giving up 228 hits, 123 runs, 114 of which were earned, as he struck out 167 batters while walking only 77. The Phils will likely use him in the bullpen. After the trade, the ballclub would sign catcher Wil Nieves to a one-year deal on December 5, as the team’s back-up catcher. Nieves, who has played for the Padres (2002), the Yankees (2005-2007), the Nats (2008-10), the Brewers (2011), the Diamondbacks (2012), the Rockies (2012-13) and the Diamondbacks again (2013), has appeared in 385 games, hitting .242 (249 for 1029), with 46 doubles, 2 triples and 8 home runs, as he knocked in 103 RBIs while scoring 78 times. He has also walked 59 times. On that same day, the Phils signed right-handed pitcher Jeff Manship to a minor league contract with a spring training invitation.

Then, on December 9, Roy Halladay announced his retirement from baseball, ending a 16-year career with the Blue Jays and the Phils, as he didn’t think he would be able to pitch after his most recent arm injury. Halladay, who said that he had signed a one-day contract with the Blue Jays to end his career as a Jay, and had paid a full page ad in the Philly newspaper thanking the Phils fans for their support during his time as a Phils (2010-13), had appeared in 416 career games, 390 as a starter, with a career record of 203-105, with a 3.38 ERA and a career save, had completed 67 games, 20 for shutouts, as he pitched in 2749.1 total innings, striking out 2117 batters as he walked only 592, as he gave up 2646 hits and 1135 runs, only 1034 of which were earned. He also threw a perfect game and a no-hitter in the post-season, both of which occurred during his first season as a Phil (2010). Thanks for being a member of the Phils, Roy, and being a class act, and wish you luck getting into the Hall.

On December 12, through the Rule 5-draft, the Phils would acquire right-hander Kevin Munson from the Diamondbacks’ Reno club, while they would lose right-hander Seth Rosin to the Mets, who would then trade him to the Dodgers for cash in the major league portion of the draft, and shortstop Jonathan Roof to the Red Sox in the Triple-A part of it, both from their Reading affiliate.

Next, on December 18, the Phils signed a one-year deal with right-hander Roberto Hernandez for $4.5 million dollars, plus performance and award bonuses. Hernandez, who has previous pitched for the Indians (2006-12) and the Blue Jays (2013), has appeared in 216 games, 177 as a starter, with a 59-82 record, with a 4.67 ERA. He will be part of the Phils’ starting rotation, along with Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Kyle Kendrick and Jonathan Pettibone.

In January, the Phils made a new TV-deal with Comcast for 25-year, which included broadcasters Chris Wheeler and Gary Matthews not returning to the broadcast booth. On the 14, the Phils had four players file for salary arbitration: outfielders Ben Revere and John Mayberry, Jr. and pitchers Antonio Bastardo and Kendrick. The next day, January 15, the Phils announce that former manger Charlie Manuel would be returning to the team as a consultant to general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. On the 17, the Phils announced that two of the four arbitration eligible players have signed one-year deals: Mayberry, who had agreed to a 1.587 million dollar deal, while Kendrick had agreed to one worth 7.675 million. The Phils then signed two minor league deals on the 21, one to veteran right-hander Chad Gaudin, and one to former Phil and veteran outfielder Bobby Abreu, with both being given spring training invites. On that same day, the Phils and Bastardo agreed to a one-year contract worth $2 million dollars. Three days later, on the 24, Ben Revere signed a one-year deal with the Phils for $ 1.95 million dollar.

With that, the last bit of news is that the Phils might be replacing Wheeler and Matthews with former Phils Matt Stairs and Jamie Moyer, both of whom have impressed the Phils in their separate interviews to join the broadcast team, and that finally, yesterday, the equipment truck has started heading south for the spring training facilities in Clearwater, Florida from Citizens Bank Park in Philly. It is now six more days before catchers and pitchers are suppose to appear in Clearwater.

Can’t wait for Spring Training to officially start. 🙂

Some recent news…

This past Friday, Jim Thome announced that he was doing what he could do, physically, to get himself ready to occasionally play first base (expected to be at least once a week) both before and after Ryan Howard returns, although during the season the Phils will be using him mainly as a late-innings pinch-hitting threat, like they did with Matt Stairs in late 2008 and 2009. Although the Phils will most likely be using Ty Wigginton as their everyday first baseman with John Mayberry playing the position against certain lefties during the regular season, until Howard’s expected return in late May, it is nice to know that Thome is getting himself ready for when he is called upon to play the position.

On Monday, it was announced that former Phils announcer Andy Musser died on Sunday at the age of 74 at his home in Wynnewood, PA. Musser was a member of the Phils’ broadcasting crew from 1976-2001, working with Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn and Ford C. Frick Award winners Harry Kalas and Tim McCarver, as well as present Phil broadcaster Chris Wheeler. Rest in Peace, Chris, and late condolences to your family.

The Phils’ offense come alive once again as they continue to handle the Nats, beating them, 7-4.

The Phils’ offense broke out as they once again defeat the Nats, 7-4.

The Phils took the lead in the fifth as Raul Ibanez hits a lead-off home run, his second home run of the season, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Phils then took a 2-0 lead as, with the bases loaded, via a single by Brian Schneider, before he was forced out at second base on a ground ball hit by Wilson Valdez, 6-4, a single by Vance Worley, sending Valdez up to second base, and a walk to Jimmy Rollins, sending both runners up a base, and with one man out, Shane Victorino hits an RBI single, scoring Valdez, while sending Worley up to third base, and Rollins up to second base. The Phils then took a 3-0 lead as Placido Polanco hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Worley. The Nats got a run back in the sixth as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Adam LaRoche hits an RBI double, scoring Danny Espinosa, who had earlier been hit by a pitch, then moved up to second on an Ian Desmond ground out, 6-3, making it a 3-1 Phils’ lead. The Phils got the run back in their half of the seventh as, with the bases loaded, via a walk to Ben Francisco, and singles by both Ibanez and Schneider, and with nobody out, Valdez hits an RBI single, scoring Francisco, making it a 4-1 Phils’ lead, while seniding Ibanez to third and Schneider up to second, leaving the bases loaded. Two batters later, with the bases still loaded, and now with one man out, the Phils took a 5-1 lead as Rollins hits an RBI single, knocking in Ibanez, while sending both Schneider and Valdez up a base each, leaving the bases loaded. The Phils then added to their lead as Victorino hits a ground to the second baseman, who then forced out Rollins at second base for the inning’s second out, 4-6, before the shortstop, Desmond, committed a throwing error to first base, allowing both Schneider and Valdez to score, giving the Phils a 7-1 lead, while letting Victorino to reach second base on the error. The Nationals cut the Phils’ lead to 7-4 in the ninth as, with runners on second and third, and with two men out, Espinosa hits a three-run home run, his third home run of the year, knocking in Laynce Nix, who had earlier singled, then went to third on pinch hitter Matt Stairs’ single, his 100th pinch hit of his career, and Stairs, who had just singled, then went to second base on defensive indifference. But, that would be it as Danys Baez finally ended the game by getting Desmond to ground out, 6-3.

Vance Worley (2-0, 0.75) gets the win as he went six innings, giving up a run on four hits and a hit batter, while striking out seven. J.C. Romero and Michael Stutes combine for two scoreless innings, giving up two hits (one hit each) and a walk (Stutes), while striking out two batters (one each). Danys Baez pitched an inning, giving up three runs on three hits, while striking out two. Jason Marquis (3-1, 3.66) took the lost as he went five innings plus four batters, as he gave up seven runs, six of which were earned, on ten hits and two walks, while he struck out two. Brian Broderick pitched an inning, giving up a hit, while striking out one. Sean Burnett and Todd Coffey combine for two scoreless innings, giving up a walk (Coffey) between them.

The Phils had eleven hits in the game, with Raul Ibanez leading the team with three hits, two singles and a solo home run, knocking in a run. Jimmy Rollins (Singles, RBI) and Brian Schneider (Singles) followed with two hits each. Shane Victorino (Single, 2 RBIs), Placido Polanco (Single, RBI), Wilson Valdez (Single, RBI) and Vance Worley had the other four Phils’ hits. The other Phil run came in on a Nats’ throwing error.

The Phils (20-9, 1st) will conclude their three-game set with the Nats (14-16, 5th) with a night game at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send Roy Halladay (5-1, 2.14) who is coming off a complete game win against the Mets on April 30, as he gave up a run on seven hits and a walk, as he struck out eight, in the Phils’ 2-1 win. He will be trying to win his fifth start while trying to lead the Phils to a sweep. The Nats will send to the mound John Lannan (2-3, 3.78), who is coming off a lost against the Giants on April 30, as he pitched six and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs on six hits and three walks, in the Nats’ 2-1 lost. He will be trying to stop the Nats current losing streak. The Phils will once again be trying for their third sweep of the season.

Roy Halladay pitches his first complete game of 2011, after holding off a ninth inning Nats’ rally, as the Phils defeat the Nats, 3-2.

Roy Halladay pitches his first complete game of the 2011 season, as the Phils hold off a late inning rally by the Nats, as the Phils win, 3-2.

The Phils took the lead in the fourth as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Ben Francisco hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had reached first base on Ian Desmond’s fielding error, moved up to second on Ryan Howard’s slow ground out, 5-3, then was given third on Desmond’s interference error as Rollins and Desmond bump into each other as Rollins was heading towards third base, since no one was covering third, thanks to the shift on Howard. The Phils then took a 2-0 lead in the fifth as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Placido Polanco hits an RBI single, scoring Wilson Valdez, who had earlier walked, had moved up to second base on Roy Halladay’s fail bunt attempt,1-6, as Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second base on Valdez’s walk, was out at third, then went to third on Shane Victorino’s fly out, scored, while sending Halladay, who was safe at first on his failed bunt attempt, stopped at second base. Two batters later, after Rollins had loaded the bases with a single, moving up both Halladay and Polanco, the Phils took a 3-0 lead as Howard was hit by the pitch, forcing in Halladay, while moving up a base both Polanco and Rollins. That would remain as the score until the bottom of the ninth, when the Nats finally put together a rally. With runners on the corners, and with one man out, Laynce Nix hits an RBI single, scoring Rick Ankiel, who had earlier doubled, then stopped at third on Jayson Werth’s single, cutting the Phils’ lead to 3-1, while sending Werth, who had earlier singled, on to third base. The Nats then cut it down to a 3-2 Phils’ lead, as Danny Espinosa hits an RBI single, scoring Werth, while sending Nix on to second base. But that would be the final score, as Halladay would buckle down and get the last two outs, by first striking out pinch hitter Matt Stairs for the inning’s second out, before ending the game by striking out Ivan Rodriguez, both on called third strikes.

Roy Halladay (2-0, 1,23) got the win as he pitched a complete game, giving up two runs on six hits and two walks, while he had struck out nine. John Lannan (1-1, 3.38) took the lost as he pitched six innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on six hits and three walks, striking out three. Chad Gaudin, Doug Slaten and Brian Broderick combined for three scoreless innings, giving up a walk (Guadin), while striking out two batters (Guadin and Slaten one batter each), between them. Halladay performed the Phils’ staff first complete game, as he missed pitching a shut out by giving up the first of two runs in the ninth, before striking out the last two batters to end the ballgame.

The Phils had only six hits in the game, with Placido Polanco leading the team with two hits, both singles, as he knocked in a run. Shane Victorino (Double), Jimmy Rollins (Single), Carlos Ruiz (Single) and Wilson Valdez (Single), had the other four Phils’ hits. Ryan Howard and Ben Francisco had the other two Phils’ RBI, Francisco via a ground out and Howard as he was hit by the pitch with the bases loaded. The Phils’ offense did not have many hits in the game, but they were able to score enouigh run to win behind Halladay.

The Phils (8-3, 1st) will conclude their three-game series with the Nationals (5-6, 3rd) later tonight. The game will be played at Nationals Park and will start at 7:05 pm EDT. Cliff Lee (1-1, 7.84), will pitch for the Phils as he is coming off a lost against the Braves on April 8, as he went only three and a third innings, giving up six runs on ten hits and a walk, while striking out three, in the Phils’ 6-3 lost. Lee will be trying to come back from his previous bad start against the Braves, while trying to give the Phils their fourth series win. The Nats will counter with Jordan Zimmermann (1-1, 3.18), who is coming off a win against the Mets, as he lasted five and one thirds innings, giving up two runs on six hits, while striking out four, in the Nats’ 6-2 win. He will be trying for his second win of the season, while also trying to give the Nats the series win. The Phils will be trying to come back to Philly with a winning record.

Jayson Werth help to defeat his old teammates, as the Phils lose to the Nats, 7-4.

Jayson Werth help to defeat his former club, as the Phils lose to the Nationals in Washington, 7-4.

The Phils took the lead in the second as Ryan Howard hits a lead-off home run, his third home run of the season, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Nats tied the game up at one-all in their half of the second as, with two men on, and with one man out, Danny Espinosa hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Wilson Ramos, who had earlier singled, then went to third on Laynce Nix’s single. The Nats then took the lead in the fourth as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Ramos hits an RBI double, knocking in Jayson Werth, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on Matt Stairs’ ground out, 6-3, giving the Nats a 2-1 lead. The Nats then increased their lead as, now with the bases loaded, after an infield single by Nix, sending Ramos to third, and a walk to Espinosa, sending Nix up to second base, and with still one man out, Jerry Hairston hits an RBI single, scoring Ramos, giving the Nats a 3-1 lead, while moving up both Nix and Espinosa, leaving the bases loaded. The Nats then took a 4-1 lead as Livan Hernandez performed a successful suicide squeeze, 1-3, for the inning’s second out, scoring Nix, while sending Espinosa on to third base, and Hairston to second base. The Nats then took a 5-1 lead in the fifth as, with one man out, Werth hits a solo home run, his second home run of the season. The Phils tried to get back into the game in the seventh as they loaded the bases, via a single by Raul Ibanez, a single by Carlos Ruiz, sending Ibanez up to second base, and an infield single by Wilson Valdez, moving Ibenez to third base, and Ruiz to second base, with one man out, before they were turned back as Hernandez struck out pinch hitter John Mayberry, Jr., for the inning’s second out, before handing the ball over to reliever Tyler Clippard, who ended the threat by striking out Shane Victorino. The Nats then increased their lead in their half of the seventh as, with the bases loaded, via a single by Rick Ankiel, a walk by Werth, sending Ankiel to second base, a double steal by Ankiel and Werth, and a walk by pinch hitter Michael Morse, and with two men out, Ramos received an RBI walk, forcing in Ankiel, making it a 6-1 Nats’ lead, while sending Werth to third base, and Morse to second base. The Phils would finally get a run back in the eighth as, once again with the bases loaded, via a single to Jimmy Rollins, a walk to Howard, moving Rollins up to second base, and a walk to Ben Francisco, moving up both runners, and with one man out, Ibanez hits into an RBI force out, 4-6, scoring Rollins, to make it a 6-2 Nats’ lead, and sending Howard to third base, as Francisco is wiped out at second base, while upsetting shortstop Ian Desmond enough to allow Ibanez to reach first base before the throw. The Phils then cut the lead to 6-3 as, with runners now on the corners, and now with two men out, Howard would score on Sean Burnett’s wild pitch, while Ibanez would move up to second base. The Nats got a run back in their half of the eighth as, with a runner on second, and with one man out, Alex Cora hits an RBI single, knocking in Espinosa, who had earlier walked, then went to second base on Ivan Rodriguez’s ground out, 6-3, making it a 7-3 Nats’ lead, before moving up to second base on the throw to the plate. The Phils then made it a 7-4 Nats’ lead in the ninth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Placido Polanco hits an RBI single, scoring Valdez, who had earlier singled, then went to second on pinch hitter Michael Martinez’s ground out 5-3. That would be the final score as Burnett recorded his third save of the season by getting Rollins to line out to Desmond for the final out.   

Joe Blanton (0-1, 10.45) took the lost as he pitched six innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and walk, while he struck out four. David Herrndon pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on one hit and one walk, while striking out two. Antonio Bastardo pitched a third of an inning, walking two batters. Danys Baez pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit and a walk. Livan Hernandez (1-1, 3.50) got the win as he pitched six and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on seven hits, while striking out six. Tyler Clippard recorded his third hold of the year as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on a hit and two walks, while striking out a batter. Sean Burnett received his third save of the season as he pitched one and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on two hits. The Phils’ relief corps did not do well last night, as they allowed two runs to score, thanks in part to four walks coming back to haunt them, with three of them coming in a row in the seventh, forcing in a run with the bases loaded.

The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Placido Polanco (RBI), Jimmy Rollins and Wilson Valdez all leading the team with two hits each, all singles. Ryan Howard (HR, RBI), Ben Francisco (Single), Raul Ibanez (Single, RBI) and Carlos Ruiz (Single), had the other four Phils’ hits. The fourth Phil run came in on a wild pitch. The offense was not able to go to work on Livan Hernandez because he messed them up with his slow pitches, mixed in with some faster stuff.

The Phils (7-3, 1st) will continue their three-games series with the Nats (5-5, T-2nd) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Nationals Park, and will start at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound their ace Roy Halladay (1-0, 0.69), who is coming off a win against the Mets on April 6, as he went seven innings, giving up no runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out seven, in the Phils’ 11-0 rout of the Mets. He will be going for his second win, while trying to even up the series between the two teams. The Nats will try to counter with John Lannan (1-0, 3.60), who is coming off a no-decision against the Marlins on April 7, as he pitched only five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and three walks, while striking out seven, in the Nats’ 5-3 extra-innings win. He will be trying to give the Nats the series win over the Phils. The Phils will be out to even up the series behind the pitching arm of Roy Halladay, while hoping that the offense will be out to once again score runs in bunches.