The Phillies have lost their sixth straight series as they waste another good start by Jamie Moyer as they lose to the Rangers, 5-1. The Rangers would take a quick 1-0 lead in the first as Michael Young would hit a RBI ground out, short to first, scoring Ian Kinsler, who has earlier tripled. They would add a second run in the second, as rookie Chris Davis would hit his second career home run, to make it 2-0 Rangers. In the third, the Rangers would increase their lead to 3-0, as Josh Hamilton would single in Young, who has earlier doubled. While Moyer would keep the Rangers off of the scoreboard after that inning, the Rangers’ starter, rookie Eric Hurley, would keep the Phillies’ offense silent, despite some of the batters actually getting some deep counts against him. The Phillies would finally get a run on the board as Ryan Howard would hit a RBI single, scoring Chase Utley, who has earlier doubled, to make it 3-1 Rangers. The Rangers would then put the game away in the eight, as Ramon Vazquez would get an RBI single, scoring Marlon Byrd, who has earlier doubled, to give the Rangers a 4-1 lead. The Rangers would score their final run on a ground out by Young, scoring Max Ramirez, who has earlier been hit by the pitch. C.J. Wilson would then come in the ninth for a quick 1-2-3 inning to end the ballgame.
Jamie Moyer would take the lost in spite of keeping the Phillies in the game, as he goes five and two-thirds innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits and striking out six batters. His record is now 7-6 with a 4.13 ERA. Ryan Madson would pitch two and one third innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits. Eric Hurley would get his first career victory, as he would also go five and two-thirds innings, giving up only one earned run on five hits. His record is now 1-1 with a ERA of 3.57. Jamey Wright, Eddie Guardado and C.J. Wilson would combine for three and one third innings of hitless ball.
The Phillies’ offense, after a short revival, would go back to sleep, in spite of an early attempt to stay patient inside the batter’s box against the rookie Hurley. Gary Matthews, the ex-Phil, and a present-day Phillies’ Announcer, would offer one of the reasons for the batters’ present slump. The players are presently hitting the ball with the end of the bat, instead of the bat’s sweet spot, near the middle, which is leading to weak outs. Maybe, maybe not. What I do know is that it is really starting to get on my nerves that the batters’ are not doing anything to help correct the problem. Sounds to me like Charlie Manuel may need to take these guys behind close doors and read them the riot act to get them thinking about what they are doing wrong. Well, one can only hope, right? *Sigh*
The Phillies (44-39) have finally finished their involvement in interleague play, with a 4-11 record, losing all five series. They will now have the day off, which they will hopefully use to get their heads screwed back on before they begin a three games series with the Braves in Hot-lanta, and then come home for a four games Independence Day weekend series with the Mets.
With the lost, the Phillies’ lead in the East drop down once again to one full game as the Marlins defeat the Diamondbacks. The Mets are now back in third place, trailing the floundering Phillies by three games as they defeat the Yankees. The Braves now trail the Phillies by four games as they lose to the Blue Jays in Toronto. The Phillies will now try to regroup and get back on the winning track.
The Phillies hang on to give Cole Hamels his eighth win of the season, as the bats decided to wake up to defeat the Rangers, 8-6. It wouldn’t look like the Phillies would actually win the game at first as Michael Young would go deep on Hamels in the first inning, hitting his seventh home run of the year, knocking in Ian Kinsler, who has earlier singled, to give the Rangers a quick 2-0 lead. But then the Phillies would for the next two innings erupt on their former teammate Vicente Padilla for six runs. It would start in the second inning, when, with one out, Ryan Howard would get on base with a walk. Greg Dobbs and Pedro Feliz would then both follow with singles, soon loading the bases. Jayson Werth would then follow them with a two-run RBI single, scoring both Howard and Dobbs and sending Feliz to third, tying the score at two. Then, with Chris Coste batting, Padilla would uncork a wild pitch, scoring Feliz, and giving the Phillies a 3-2 lead. The Phillies would then add on to their lead in the third, when, once again with one out, Chase Utley would hit his National League home run lead tying twenty-third home run of the year, a solo shot, giving the Phillies a 4-2 lead. Two batters later, with Pat Burrell on first base via a walk, Howard would hit his twentieth home run of the year, a two-run shot, scoring Burrell, to make it 6-2 Phillies. The Rangers would try to come back in the fifth, when, with one out, and a runner on first, Jarrod Saltalamacchia would hit a RBI double, scoring Brandon Boggs, who has earlier reached base on a Utley’s throwing error after a force out, moving to second base on the error, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 6-3. One out later Saltalamacchia would score on a RBI single by Kinster, to make it 6-4 Phillies. The Phillies would get a run back in the sixth when Jimmy Rollins would hit a RBI triple, scoring Coste, who has earlier reached base on a single, to give the Phillies a 7-4 lead. Rollins would then be thrown out at the plate, from Josh Hamilton to Kinsler to Saltalamacchia, when he tried to turn his triple into an inside the park home run, thus ending the inning. The Phillies would add one more run in the seventh, when Utley would hit a RBI double, scoring Shane Victorino, who has gotten on base with a lead off bunt single, making it an 8-4 Phillies’ lead. The Rangers would cut the Phillies’ lead in the eighth, when with Chad Durbin pitching in relief of Hamels, with two men out and the bases loaded, he would give up an RBI single to Max Ramirez, scoring Josh Hamilton, who has reached base earlier on a single, making it 8-5 Phils. Durbin would then be replaced by J.C. Romero. He would shortly walk Boggs, forcing in Milton Bradley, who has earlier singled, to make it an 8-6 Phillies’ lead. He would then buckle under and strike out Saltalamacchia to end the threat. Then in the ninth, Brad Lidge would come in to pitch, and later, with two men on and one out, he would strike out both Hamilton and Bradley to end the game and record his nineteenth save in nineteen tries.
Cole Hamels would get the win, going seven innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits and striking out eight. His record is now 8-5 with an ERA of 3.38. Chad Durbin would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up two earned runs on four hits. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits, walking a batter and striking out a batter. Brad Lidge would pitch the ninth, recording his nineteenth save, as he gave up no runs on two hits. Vicente Padilla would get the lost while getting hammered by the Phils, pitching six innings as he gives up seven earned runs on seven hits. His record is now 10-4 with an ERA of 4.13. Joaquin Benoit would pitch two innings of relief, giving up an earned run on two hits. Luis Mendoza would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit.
The bats, at least for this game, seems to have woken up, knocking in eight runs, although the batters are still going after early pitches or pitches way out of the strike zone. Utley is once more on a tear since breaking his 0 for several days ago, but is still taking the collar with men in scoring position. Hopefully this will be the precursor of a resurfacing of the Phillies’ dangerous offense.
The Phillies (44-38) will face the Rangers (41-41, 3rd American League West) for the rubber match of their weekend series. The game will be played at Rangers Park in Arlington, and will start at 6:05 pm Eastern (5:05 pm Central). The Phillies’ starter will be the veteran Jamie Moyer (7-5, 4.09), who is coming off a hard lost against the A’s on June 24, where he would pitch well until the seventh inning, going six and two-third innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 5-2 lost. Career wise, he is 4-5 with a 5.50 ERA in thirteen starts at Rangers Park. Like Cole Hamels on Saturday, he will be trying for his eighth victory of the year while hoping that he can help lead the Phils to their first series victory since their sweep of the Braves at Atlanta. He will be opposed by rookie starter Eric Hurley (0-1, 4.24), who is coming off his first career start at the hand of the Astros on June 24, where he went six innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits, in the Rangers’ 4-3 lost. In three career starts, he has a lost and two no-decisions. He will be trying for his first career win while hoping that the Phillies’ bats have not come back from the dead.
The Phillies’ lead are now back to two, four and four games ahead of the Marlins, the Braves and the Mets respectively, who have all lost their games. The Phillies will conclude interleague play tomorrow night, before having an off-day on Monday, before starting a three games series with the Atlanta Braves in Hot-lanta, hoping to face the Braves with a reignited offense.