Two home runs by a presently red hot Ryan Howard and the Pedro Martinez/Jamie Moyer rain delay show in which the two combined to give up only one run in six and a third innings, as the Phils defeated the Braves, 4-2. The Phils now lead the NL East by eight games as the Marlins also lost last night.
In the second inning, the Phils took a quick 1-0 lead as Ryan Howard hits a lead-off home run, his thirty-sixth home run of the season. Then the rain came down, as the game is delayed twice, which would lead to the removal of Phils’ starter Pedro Martinez, who pitched two shut out innings before being replaced by Jamie Moyer, and Braves’ starter Tommy Hanson, who had given up the solo home run to Howard. The Phils, after play resumed, would increase their lead in the fourth as, with one man on, and with nobody out, hits a two-run home run, his thirty-seventh home run of the year, scoring Chase Utley, who had earlier singled, making it a 3-0 Phils’ lead. The Braves would get a run back in the fifth as, with one man on, and with one man out, Matt Diaz hits an RBI double, knocking in Ryan Church, who had earlier hit an infield single, and had gone to second on third baseman Pedro Feliz’s throwing error. The Phils made it 4-1 in the seventh as, with a runner on third and with nobody out, Feliz hits an RBI single, knocking in Raul Ibanez, who had earlier tripled. In the eighth, the Braves would cut the Phils’ lead to 4-2 as, with runners on the corners, and with noone out, Chipper Jones hit into an RBI force out, 6-4, as Martin Prado, who had earlier singled, is forced out at second, while Diaz, who had earlier doubled, and then went to third on Prado’s single, scored, while Jones was safe at first. That would be the final score as Brad Lidge would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth, recording his twenty-sixth save of the season.
Pedro Martinez pitched a no-decision as he pitched two innings before being taken out of the game after two rain delays, giving up just one hit and a walk, while striking out a batter. Jamie Moyer got the win as he pitched four and a third innings, giving up a run on four hits, while he struck out five. His record is now 12-9 with a 5.12 ERA, his second win since going into the bullpen. Chan Ho Park recorded his ninth hold as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting out both batters that he would face, striking out one. Ryan Madson recorded his twenty-second hold as he gave up a run on three hits and a walk. Brad Lidge pitched a 1-2-3 inning, recording his twenty-sixth save of the year, striking out a batter. Tommy Hanson took the lost, as he pitched two innings, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out four. His record is now 9-3 with an ERA of 3.15. Kris Medlen also pitched two innings, giving up two runs on three hits, as he struck out two. Eric O’Flaherty pitched two scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk, as he struck out two. Peter Moylan pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits. Mike Gonzalez pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk.
The Phillies had nine hits in the game, with Ryan Howard leading the way, with a single and two home runs, a solo shot and a two-run bomb, accounting for three of the Phils’ runs, while raising his batting average to .272. Pedro Feliz followed with two hits, one of which was a double, as he knocked in the other Phils’ run. Chase Utley, Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez and Carlos Ruiz had the other four Phils’ hits, with Ibanez’s hit being a triple. The win added some distance between the Phils and their nearest rivals in the East.
The Phillies (74-52, 1st) continues their home stand with the Braves (67-61, 2nd-T) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and the game will be started at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils’ starter will be Cliff Lee (12-9 (5-0), 2.63 (0.68)), who is coming off a win against the Mets on August 24, as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up only two unearned runs on six hits, while striking out five, in the Phils’ 6-2 win. He will be trying to make it six wins in a row since being traded to the Phils. The Braves will counter with their ace Derek Lowe (12-8, 4.48), who is coming off a no-decision against the Marlins on August 23, where he pitched five innings, giving up three runs on nine hits and a walk, while striking out three, in the Braves’ 7-5 win. He will be trying to match Lee pitch for pitch, to give him his first lost in the NL. The Phillies will be trying to further increase their lead in the East, while at the same time putting an early dagger into the Braves pennant hopes.
A ninth inning blast off of the bat of Ryan Howard help to propel the Phils to a late inning win over the Braves, 3-2. Their present winning streak is up to four games, while they still lead the Marlins by four and a half games as they increased their lead over Atlanta to six games.
The Braves took a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning as, with a runner on base and with one out, Chipper Jones hits an RBI single, knocking in Nate McLouth, who had earlier doubled, and had gone on to third on Martin Prado’s ground out, 6-3. The Phils took the lead in the fourth as, with a runner on base, and with nobody out, Chase Utley hits a two-run bomb, his twenty-fourth home run of the season, knocking in Shane Victorino, who had earlier singled, giving the Phils a 2-1 lead. The Braves then tied the game up at two-all in their half of the fourth as, with a runner on base, and with two men out, Ryan Church hits a RBI double, knocking in Yunel Escobar, who had earlier reached base on a Pedro Feliz fielding error. The score would remain tied at 2-2 until the top of the ninth when, with the count 2-1, Ryan Howard hits a slider into center field to give the Phils the 3-2 lead. That would remain the final score as Brad Lidge was able to nail down his twenty-second save of the season, despite giving up a single to Adam LaRoche and a walk to pinch hitter Greg Norton, with two out, as he got McLouth to fly out to left for the final out.
Joe Blanton received a no-decision as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up only two runs on seven hits and a walk, while he struck out two. Ryan Madson got the win as he pitched a quick 1-2-3 inning. His record is now 4-4 with a 3.02 ERA. Brad Lidge recorded his twenty-second save of the season, as he gave up just one hit and a walk, while striking out one. Jair Jurrjens also got a no-decision as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk, as he struck out six. Mike Gonzalez pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit. Rafael Soriano took the lost as he pitched an inning, giving up a run on one hit, while striking out the side. His record is now 1-4 with an ERA of 2.55.
The Phils had only seven hits in the game, with Jayson Werth leading the way with two hits, both singles, as he raised his batting average to .262. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and pinch hitter Ben Francisco followed with one hit apiece, with Rollins and Francisco’s hits being doubles, while Utley’s hit was a two-run home run and Howard’s hit was a solo home run. The Phils have so far won each of their games on the present road trip, in fact winning two very close games. They hope to continue to build on their lead over both the Braves and the rest of the NL East.
The Phillies (65-48, 1st) continue their three-games series with the Braves (60-55, 3rd) with an afternoon game that is being televised nationally by Fox Sports. The game will be played at Turner Field and will start at 4 pm Eastern. The Phils’ starter will be Cole Hamels (7-7, 4.77), who is coming off of a lost on August 8 to the Marlins, as he gave up four runs on five hits and four walks, as he struck out four in five and one-third innings of work in the Phils’ 6-4 lost. He will be trying to rebound from his last few bad outings. The Braves will counter with Kenshin Kawakami (5-9, 4.12), who is coming off a no-decision on August 8 against the Dodgers, where he pitched seven shutout innings, giving up just four hits and three walks, while striking out four, in the Braves’ 2-1 win. He will be trying to shut down the Phils again, like he did during his previous start against them in May. The Phils will be trying to build on their lead in the NL East, while attempting to bury the Braves deep in third place.
The Phillies lose in extra-innings as the bullpen blows yet another lead in the late innings, as the Phils lose their first game in a year to the Braves in Atlanta, 5-4.
The Phils took an early lead in the third as, with two men on base, and two men out, Ryan Howard hits a ground-rule double, knocking in Shane Victorino, who had earlier singled and had gone to third on Chase Utley’s single, making it 1-0 Phils, while sending Utley over to third. The Braves would tie the game up at one-all in their half of the third as, with a runner on third and nobody out, Martin Prado hits an RBI single, scoring Gregor Blanco, who had earlier tripled. The Phils regain the lead in the fifth as, with two men out, Utley hits a solo home run, his seventeenth home run of the year, to give the Phils a 2-1 lead. The Braves would tie the game up with one swing of the bat in their half of the inning as Prado hits a lead-off home run, his fourth home run of the season. Five batters later, with the bases loaded, via singles to Chipper Jones and Garret Anderson and a walk to Casey Kotchman, and with one man out, Jeff Francoeur hits an RBI ground out, 4-3, for the inning’s second out, scoring Jones and giving the Braves a 3-2 lead, while moving both Anderson and Kotchman up a base. The Phils tied it in the eighth as, with two men out, John Mayberry, Jr., hit a pinch hit home run, his fourth home run of the season. The Phils then retook the lead as Pedro Feliz followed Mayberry with a solo home run of his own, his fifth home run of the season, giving the Phils a 4-3 lead. The Braves would tie the game up yet again in their half of the inning, as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Prado hits an RBI double, scoring Blanco, who had earlier reached base with a walk, and had then gone to second on Ryan Madson’s throwing error when he tried to pick off Blanco at first, while Prado would go on to third when Jayson Werth misplayed the ball for a fielding error. The Braves won the game in the tenth inning as, with runners on second and third, with one out, and with both the infield and outfield in to stop the winning run from scoring, Prado hits an RBI single over Mayberry’s head in left, scoring Matt Diaz, who had earlier singled and then went to third on Blanco’s single, beating Mayberry’s throw to third, giving the Braves a 5-4 extra-innings, walk-off win.
Joe Blanton got a no-decision, as he pitched five innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out three. Chad Durbin pitched two scoreless innings, giving up only one hit. Ryan Madson committed his fourth blown save, giving up a run on one hit and two walks, while striking out one. J.C. Romero pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Chan Ho Park took the lost as he gave up a run on three hits, as he struck out one, in one-third innings. His record is now 3-2 with a 6.04 ERA. Derek Lowe also received a no-decision as he pitched six innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and three walks, striking out four. Eric O’Flaherty pitched an inning, getting his eighth hold, as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Mike Gonzalez recorded his fourth blown save, as he gave up two runs on two hits, while striking out a batter. Rafael Soriano pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out one. Boone Logan pitched a third of an inning, giving up a hit. Peter Moylan got the win, as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting out the two men that he would face. His record is now 2-2 with an ERA of 4.15.
The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Pedro Feliz leading the way with three hits, including a solo home run, knocking in a run, as he raised his average to .295. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard both followed with two hits each, with both men knocking in a run, Utley via a solo home run and Howard with a ground-rule double. Shane Victorino, Greg Dobbs and John Mayberry, Jr. had the other three Phils’ hits, with Mayberry’s being a pinch hit home run. The Phils offense is still somewhat in neutral as they wait for Raul Ibanez to return from the disabled list and their lead-off man, Jimmy Rollins to get it in gear as his batting average continue to go low.
The Phillies (39-35, 1st) continue their three-games series with the Braves (36-40, 4th) with a game tonight. The game will be played at Turner Field and it will start at 7:00 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamel (4-4, 4.44), who is cioming off one of his worst starts this season, as he lost to the Blue Jays on June 26, as he went only four and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and two walks, while striking out four, in the Phils’ 6-1 lost. He will be going out to prove that he is indeed the Phils’ ace starter. The Braves will counter with Jair Jurrjens (5-6, 2.93), who is coming off a lost to the Red Sox on June 26, as he went eight innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and three walks, while striking out three, in the Braves’ 4-1 lost. He wil be trying to rebound from that lost. The Phils as a team now need to forget about June and try to put together a winning streak before the All-Star break, trying to put some serious distance between themselves and the rest of the division. But, they need to start it with a win tonight, and Hamels will have to lead the way by shutting the Braves down, no ifs, ands, or buts about it!!!!
The Phillies’ bullpen is unable to hold onto a one-run lead late in the ballgame as the Phils fall to the Braves, 4-2.
The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the first, as, with the bases loaded, and nobody out, Garret Anderson hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Kelly Johnson, who had earlier singled, had gone to second base after Yunel Escobar had been hit by the pitch, and had gone on to third when Clipper Jones was walked. The Phils would tie the game at one-all in the second, when, with runners on first and second, and one man out, Pedro Feliz hits an RBI single, knocking in Ryan Howard, who had earlier doubled, while sending to third Matt Stairs, who had earlier walked. The game then became a pitchers’ duel between Phillies’ starter Brett Myers and Braves’ starter Kenshin Kawakami, as Myers would pitch himself out of constant trouble while Kawakami kept the Phils’ bats under control. The Phils took the lead in the sixth, as, with a man on, and one out, Stairs hits an RBI double, knocking in Howard, who had earlier doubled, making it 2-1 Phils. The Braves took the lead in the seventh, as, with the bases loaded, via singles to Escobar and Anderson, and a walk to Brian McCann, and two men out, Casey Kotchman hits a weak grounder up the middle that got through the infield for a two-run single, scoring both Escobar and Anderson, making it a 3-2 Braves’ lead, while sending McCann up to second base. The Braves made it a 4-2 game in the ninth, as, with a runner on first and two outs, Kotchman hits an RBI double, scoring Greg Norton, who had earlier walked. That would end up being the final score as the Phils got shut down in the ninth.
Brett Myers got a no-decision as he pitched a good game, giving up only one run on five scattered hits and two walks, while striking out three. Jack Taschner had his first blown save of the year as he took the lost as he pitched only two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk. His record is now 1-1 with a 5.14 ERA. Chad Durbin pitched an inning and a third, giving up only one hit, as he struck out one. Brad Lidge pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit and a walk. Kenshin Kawakami got the win as he pitched six strong innings against the Phils, giving up two runs on five hits and four walks, as he struck out six. His record is now 2-4 with a 5.79 ERA. Eric O’Flaherty held his third lead of the season as he pitched a scoreless inning, as he struck out a batter. Mike Gonzalez, normally the Braves’ closer, pitched a scoreless inning as he received his first hold of the year, giving up only a walk. Rafeal Soriano collected his third save of the year as he pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up only one hit, while striking out a batter.
The Phillies had only six hits in the ballgame, with Ryan Howard and Matt Stairs each collecting two, including three doubles (two of them for Howard) and a single. Pedro Feliz and pinch hitter Miguel Cairo got the other two hits, both singles. Feliz and Stairs had the Phils two RBIs. Although getting a no-decision, as he pitched his fourth quality start in his last five, as the bullpen is unable to hold the lead for him, Myers has pitched his best game so far this season, mainly because he had established control early in the game by pitching inside to batters, getting them off the plate. Things would probably become even better for Myers once he can put together a 1-2-3 first inning and stop giving up the long ball, as he is presently the Phils’ best starter.
The Phillies (15-14, 3rd) have the day off today. Their next game will be played tomorrow night against the Los Angeles Dodgers (22-11, 1st National League West). The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern at Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies have lost their second straight game in the young season as the bats resurrect a major problem from last season, the inability to knock in runs after putting men in scoring position.
Jamie Moyer, starting the game for the Phils, ran into trouble early, as Braves’ lead-off man Kelly Johnson, hammers his first pitch, a cutter, into the right field seats, for his first home run of the season, giving Atlanta a quick 1-0 lead. Three batters later, Chipper Jones, who had earlier reached second on a double with one man out, scored from second base on a Chase Utley fielding error of a Brian McCann grounder, making it 2-0 Braves. The Braves added a run in the fourth inning, as, with runners on first and third, with two outs, Kelly Johnson singled in Jeff Francoeur, who had earlier singled and had reached third on an infield single by Casey Kotchman that Jimmy Rollins was unable to make a play on, increasing Atlanta’s lead to 3-0. The next batter, Yunel Escobar, followed with a single to left, but a strong throw from Raul Ibanez to home plate would cut down Kotchman, as Carlos Ruiz successfully blocked home plate before supplying the tag, for the inning’s final out. Then in the fifth, Jones knocked in the Braves’ final run of the evening as he hit Moyer’s first pitch, another cutter, deep into left field for his first home run of the year, and the Braves’ fifth homer of the young season. The Phillies’ bullpen then took over in the sixth, and, like it did on Sunday night, it would shut down the Braves’ offense for the rest of the night. Meanwhile, the Phillies were not having any luck with either Jair Jurrjens or the Braves’ bullpen. Although they would get a few men into scoring position, they would be unable to get the key hit that they needed to bring them home as they ended up being six-hit by Atlanta.
Jamie Moyer took the lost as he pitched five innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and two walks, as he struck out two. His record is now 0-1 with an ERA of 7.20. Chan Ho Park pitched an inning of relief, giving up no hits. Jack Taschner followed him, pitching two straight 1-2-3 innings. Clay Condrey also pitched a 1-2-3 inning, with two strike outs, as the bullpen has so far pitched seven shut out innings, giving up no hits or walks. Jair Jurrjens picked up the win for the Braves, as he went five and two-thirds shut out innings, scattering four hits, along with three walks, while striking out two. His record is now 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. Jeff Bennett then followed him in relief, giving up a hit to the only batter that he would face. Eric O’Flaherty then came in and pitched an inning and a third of shut out ball, giving up a hit. Rafael Soriano and Mike Gonzalez then came in to each pitch a scoreless inning, with Soriano striking out a batter.
Among the Phillies batters, Utley and Ryan Howard would each get two hits in the game, all singles. Ibanez and Ruiz had the Phils other two hits, with Ibanez’s hit being a double, the Phils only extra-base hit of the night. The Phils also had four walks, But, they were unable to knock in any runs, as they left eleven men on base, going 0-7 with runners in scoring position, a major problem for the team last season.
The Phillies (0-2) will conclude their short three-game home stand with the Braves (2-0) later this afternoon, as the Phillies receive their World Series rings. The game will begin at 3:05 pm Eastern time at Citizens Bank Park, with the ring ceremony to be performed at 2:15 pm. Starting for the Phillies will be Joe Blanton, who last year went 4-0 for the Phils (9-12 overall) with a 4.20 ERA. His record for the 2009 season is presently 0-0 with a -.– ERA. His opponent will be Javier Vazquez, who in 2008 went 12-16 for the Chicago White Sox with a 4.67 ERA. This season his record is presenty 0-0 with a -.– ERA. The Phils will be looking to salvage a win at home before they go on the road for their first road trip of the young season, meeting the Rockies in Colorado for three weekend games and then going on to Washington, D.C. to face the Nationals for three games at the start of next week.
First, the answer to last week’s trivia question, which no one even attempted to answer. First, the question: Name the first ex-Phil to be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame? And the answer is: Nap Lajoie is the first ex-Phil to be elected into the Baseball Hal of Fame, as he was elected as a member of the 1937 class, receiving 168 votes or 83.58% of the vote in the second Hall of Fame election, being that year’s highest vote getter. Nap was a member of the Phils for four years, 1896-1900. A new weekly trivia question will be asked at the bottom of this post.
The 2009 regular season started last night as the 2008 World Champions Philadelphia Phillies faced one of their oldest rivals, the Atlanta Braves, in a night game at Citizens Bank Park, which included the raising of the 2008 banner and fireworks, as the Phils wore their special opening night uniforms with gold trim and the 2008 World Series patch.
Sadly, during the game itself, all of the fireworks were on the Atlanta Braves’ side as they torched Phils’ starter Brett Myers for four runs, via three home runs, in the first two innings. Things looked very promising for Myers as he easily got out the first two batters that he faced, via a fly out to center and a 6-3 ground out. Then Chipper Jones, with the count 3-2, hit a single to left, getting the first hit of the 2009 season. The next batter, Brian McCann then hit a 2-0 pitch into deep right field for a two-run home run, the first home run of the new season, as the Braves took a quick 2-0 lead. In the second, the Braves added to their lead as Jeff Francoeur hit his first home run of the year, a rocket into the left field seats, making it 3-0 Atlanta. One batter later, Jordan Schafer, in his first major league at-bat, made it 4-0 Braves as he slugged a 3-1 fastball into center field. Myers would settle down after that, giving up only five more hits as he pitched a total of six innings. While the Braves were raining on Myers’ parade, Derek Lowe was expertly handcuffing the Phils, giving up only two hits in his eight strong innings of work, a one-out ground-rule double to Carlos Ruiz in the third inning, the first Phillies’ hit of the season, who was then left stranded on second, and a two-out single to Jimmy Rollins in the sixth, who was then left on first as Jayson Werth lined out right to Lowe to end the inning. The Phils would finally score a run in the ninth inning, getting it off of reliever Mike Gonzalez. Pinch hitter Eric Bruntlett started the inning off with a pinch hit double. Rollins then flied out to right, sending Bruntlett over to third with one out. The next batter, Werth, then singled sharply to left, scoring Bruntlett, collecting the first Phillies RBI of the season, making it a 4-1 Braves’ lead. Chase Utley followed with a walk, sending Werth over to second, and bringing up the tying run to the plate in the person of Ryan Howard. Howard, who had been given a steady diet of off-speed pitches all night by Lowe, saw five straight sliders from Gonzalez, working the count full. Thus, Howard was caught off-guard when pitch no. six from Gonzalez was a fast ball, the first one he had seen all night, which was sent right down the pike, for a call third strike. Howard was followed by Raul Ibanez, who, like Howard, was looking for his first hit of the year, and seeing if he could help his new team out early in the season. Sadly, it was not to be, as he struck out, swinging, on a 3-2 fastball, ending the ballgame as a 4-1 Braves’ victory.
Brett Myers, in his six innings of work, gave up four runs on eight hits, including three home runs, and a walk while striking out six. His regular season record is now 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA. Jack Taschner, pitching in his first official game as a Phil, pitched a 1-2-3 inning as he struck out a batter. Scott Eyre followed him for two-thirds of an inning, recording a strikeout. Chad Durbin then pitched the final third of an inning, striking out the only batter he would face. Brad Lidge pitched the ninth for the Phils, pitching a 1-2-3 inning, including a strikeout. Derek Lowe pitched eight strong innings for the Braves, staying out of trouble all night, as he gave up only two hits to the Phils as he struck out four. His record is now 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. Mike Gonzalez pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a walk, while getting two very important strike outs to end the game.
At this point, Eric Bruntlett is leading the team in batting with a 1.000 batting average, as he went 1 for 1 with a double. Carlos Ruiz follows at .333, as he went 1 for 3 on the night with a ground-rule double. Jimmy Rollins and Jayson Werth follow with both men going 1 for 4 for a .250 batting average, with Werth having the Phils’, at the moment, only RBI of the season.
The short series will continued tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their ageless wonder Jamie Moyer, who record is presently 0-0 with a -.– ERA. The Braves will counter with Jair Jurrjens, who’s record is also 0-0 with a -.– ERA.
Now, here is this week’s trivia question: Name the first ten Phillies’ Opening Day Pitchers? You all know where to find the answer. The answer will be posted on Thursday.
A throwing error by Cole Hamels, the lack of a clutch hit with the bases loaded and a base running error in the sixth would all lead to a hard lose as the Phillies lose a close one to the Braves, 3-2. The Mets’ win against the Cubs cuts the Phils lead in the East down to a game and a half and leaves the magic number for winning the East at four while a Brewers’ win leave the playoff magic number at one.
The Braves took the lead in the first as, with a runner on second and one out, Kelly Johnson would hit a RBI single, scoring Martin Prado, who has earlier singled, giving the Braves a quick 1-0 lead. The Phillies would tie up the game in the second as, with a runner on third and two outs, Pedro Feliz would hit a RBI single, scoring Ryan Howard, who has earlier singled, went to second on Pat Burrell’s walk and would go to third on Shane Victorino’s 4-6-3 double play ball, which wiped out Burrell at second. The Braves would retake the lead in the third as, with runners on first and second and two out, Coel Hamels would have Johnson, who has gotten on base earlier with a single and then would move to second on Omar Infante’s single, picked off as Johnson was trying to steal third. But, Hamels’ throw to Feliz at third would go behind the third baseman and into left field, allowing Johnson to score and make it 2-1 Braves. The Phillies would threaten to even the score in their half of the third as they loaded up the bases with a double (Chase Utley), a throwing error by Johnson (Jayson Werth) and a walk (Howard), with two men out. But Braves’ starter Mike Hampton would end the threat by getting Burrell to pop out to the third baseman. The Braves would increase their lead in the sixth, as, with two outs, Casey Kotchman would hit a solo home run, his fourteenth home run of the year, making it 3-1 Braves. The Phillies would get a run base in their half of the sixth, as, with a runner on third and no one out, Pat Burrell would hit a RBI double, scoring Howard, who has earlier tripled, to make it a 3-2 Braves’ lead. Then Burrell would make a crucial base running blunder as, when Shane Victorino hit a hard ground to Braves’ shortstop Brent Lillibridge, instead of going back to second, as he should’ve done, he would be caught off second and then be run down before finally being tagged out by Johnson, with the play going 6-5-4, with Victorino being safe at first on the fielder’s choice. Later, with Feliz batting, Victorino would try to steal second. He would be thrown out by Braves’ catcher Brian McCann for the inning’s second out as Johnson supplies the tag. Feliz would then end the inning by grounding out, 6-3. The Burrell base running blunder would seems to take the wind out of the Phillies’ sails for the rest of the night as they would be unable to mount another threat as the game ended up being a win for the Braves.
Cole Hamels would take the lost as he pitched seven innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on eight hits, as he struck out seven. His record is now 14-10 with an ERA of 3.09. Scott Eyre, Chad Durbin and J.C. Romero would combine for two scoreless innings, giving up no hits between them, while striking out one (Romero). Mike Hampton would get the win as he pitches six innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits. His record is now even at 3-3 with a 4.88 ERA. Will Ohman and Jeff Bennett would each pitch a scoreless inning, with both man giving up no hits while Bennett would walk a batter. Mike Gonzalez would record his fourteenth save of the year as he pitches a scoreless ninth, giving up no hits as he walked a batter and struck out one.
The Phillies would get done in by the kind of mistakes that they have been avoiding lately, namely a throwing error by Cole Hamels when he had Kelly Johnson dead to rights when Johnson was trying to steal third, being unable to get the clutch hit when they needed it after they had loaded up the bases and Pat Burrell’s base running blunder with no one out. With Hamels’ errant throw, even with his throwing behind Pedro Feliz, if the throw has gone into Feliz’s glove, and Johnson has been safe at third, the Braves would have been turned back as Hamels then struck out Casey Kotchman to end the inning, keeping the game tied at 1-1. This might have been the turning point of the game, as the Phillies, in the later half of the inning, would mount a bases loaded threat that would be turned back because of a pop up into foul territory by Pat Burrell that was caught by Braves’ third baseman Martin Prado. But what really killed the Phillies was Burrell’s later base running blunder in the sixth. With the play in front of him, he should’ve went back to second when Braves’ shortstop Brent Lillibridge caught Shane Victorino’s hard ground ball. Instead, he allowed himself to get trapped between second and third, and then compounded things by not staying in the base paths long enough to allow Victornio to get to second base. An added insult would be Braves’ catcher Brian McCann throwing out Victorino when Victorino tried to steal second. Hopefully the Phillies will be able to bounce back from the lost and win tonight’s game with the Braves.
The Phillies (89-69) will play the final game of their three games home stand with the Braves (70-88) tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (10-12, 4.46), who is coming off his worst outing since his return from the minors, as he lost to the Marlins on September 20, where he only went four innings plus five batters, giving up ten earned runs on nine hits, in the Phillies’ 14-8 lost. Myers should be able to come back from that start, like his did in his previous start against the Brewers on September 14, where he pitched a complete game shut out, after his lost to the Marlins on September 10. The lost makes Myers 7-3 since his return. He will be trying for his eleventh win overall while getting the Phillies a bit closer to the playoff with four games left to play. The Braves will oppose him with Jo-Jo Reyes (3-11, 5.74), who is coming off a recent no-decision against the Mets on September 19, where he only lasted three and a third innings, giving up five earned runs on seven hits, in the Braves’ 9-5 lost. Against the Phillies this year, he has appeared in three games, two of them starts, where his record is 0-2 with a 7.56 ERA, hoping that he won’t get bombed again by the Phillies’ bats as he starts against them.
The lost would cut the Phillies’ lead over the Mets down to a game and a half as the Mets defeated the Cubs. The magic number for the Division crown is still at four. In the Wild Card chase, the Mets’ lead is still a game over the Brewers as they defeated the Pirates, while their lead over the Astros is now four and a half as they lost to the Reds. The Phillies will be trying to recover from last night’s lost, hoping for another good outing from Myers while hoping to once again sting Reyes and send the Braves packing with another lost.