The Phillies (29-24) continues their three games home stand with the visiting National League Champion Rockies (20-31, 3rd National League West) with a night game in Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (3-2, 5.19), who is coming off a no-decision against the Astros on May 22, where he pitched five very shaky innings, giving up five earned runs on eight hits, in the Phillies’ 7-5 victory. Kendrick has already faced the Rockies once this season, back on April 21, where he would get a no-decison, pitching only five innings, while giving up five earned runs on eight hits, in the Phils’ 9-5 win. He has been involved in five no-decisions in his last seven starts, while winning his other two starts, as he would give up three earned runs in four of those games and give up no runs in only one inning of work in the rain delayed game of May 18 with the Toronto Blue Jays. In those five no-decision games that he has started, the Phils are 4-1. Lifetime against the Rockies, Kendrick is 0-1 in two starts with a 7.00 ERA. He will be trying to improve his record while hoping that his teammates will still have some gas in their batting tanks while he’s pitching. The Rockies will counter by sending Ubaldo Jimenez (1-4, 4.61) to the mound. Jimenez is coming off a no-decision against the Giants on May 21, where he would pitch seven innings, giving up no runs on three hits, in the Rockies’ 3-2 lost. He has lost his two previous starts, against the Padres on May 10 (3-2) and the Minnesota Twins on May 16 (4-2). In those two games, he would pitch a combined total of thirteen and two-thirds innings, giving up six earned runs on thirteen hits. He hopes to improve his record, while not becoming a victim of the Phillies recent offensive attack.
The Phillies offense has knocked in thirty-five runs in its last two games, and sixty runs in its last six games, after being kept to one run in eighteen innings in Washington, D.C. The Phillies’ starters hope that the bats will be able to continue with their offensive barrage, while the team in general hopes that their starters (Kyle Kendrick and Adam Eaton) will be able to take full advantage of the presently youthful lineup that the Rockies will be sending up to the plate for the final two games of the series, thanks to the large number of injuries to key personnel that is presently plaguing the National League Champs. Especially the veteran Eaton, who might actually have a very good chance for a win if he can outpitch the Rockies’ eager to impress bats.
The Phillies are presently two and a half games behind the first place Marlins, who are at the moment involved in a three games series with the fourth place Mets. The Phils are still .002 percentage points behind the Braves, who are now heading to Milwaukee for a three games series with the Brewers. The Mets are trailing both the Phils and the Braves by four games, as they face the red hot Marlins. The Phils hope to keep pace with the Marlins before they come to Philadelphia for their three games weekend series at Citizens Bank Park, while hoping that the Braves will continue to have their road problems in Milwaukee so that they can take sole position of second place.
The Phillies end up with a series spilt in Houston as they crush the Astros in the final game of their four games series, 15-6. Houston would start the scoring off in the bottom of the first, when, with two outs, Carlos Lee hits a three-runs home run off of Phils’ starter Cole Hamels, for his eleventh home run of the year, scoring Miguel Tejada and Lance Berkman, who have both gotten on base with singles, making it 3-0 Astros. These would be the first earned runs given up by Hamels in nineteen and two-thirds innings. The Phils would cut the lead down to 3-2 in the second on Geoff Jenkins two-runs home run, his third of the season, scoring Pat Burrell, who has earlier walked. The Phillies would tie the game up in the third on a sacrifice fly by Chase Utley, scoring Hamels, who has earlier singled. The Astros would retake the lead in their half of the third as Berkman hits a RBI single off of Hamels, scoring Michael Bourn, who has earlier reached base on a walk. The Astros then increased their lead to 5-3, when Tejada, who was safe on a force out, would score on a Carlos Lee ground out, short to first. The Phils would then get a run back in the fourth when Hamels singles in Carlos Ruiz, who has earlier doubled. Houston would then make it 6-4 in their half of the fourth as Ty Wigginton, who has doubled earlier, would score on a Bourn force out. After both starters are taken out by the top of the sixth inning, the Phillies would then open up the flood gates to score eleven runs in two straight innings. First, in the sixth, Burrell would get the ball rolling by hitting a solo home run off of Fernando Nieve, his thirteenth home run of the year, making it a 6-5 Astros’ lead. Jenkins and Pedro Feliz would then follow with a single and a double, putting runners on second and third with nobody out. Ruiz would then follow with a single, scoring Jenkins and moving Feliz to third, tying the score at six all. After Wesley Wright would come in to pitch in relief of Nieve, he would walk pitch hitter Eric Bruntlett to load the bases with Phils. Jimmy Rollins then hits a ground out, second to first, which would score Feliz, giving the Phils the lead at 7-6, while moving Ruiz to third, and Bruntlett to second, whose smart base running would enable him to get to second base safely. Now with one out, Shane Victorino would hit a double to left field, scoring both Ruiz and Bruntlett, increasing the Phils’ lead to 9-6. That would be how the inning would end as Wright would get Utley to ground out and Ryan Howard to fly out. After J.C. Romero, who was pitching in relief of Rudy Seanez, puts down the Astros in their half of the sixth, the Phillies would continue their scoring in the seventh. Burrell would start things off by hitting a double off of Dave Borkowski, who was pitching in relief of Wright. Jenkins would follow with a single, moving Burrell to third. After So Taguchi pinch runs for Burrell, Feliz would single him home, making the score 10-6 Phils, while moving Jenkins up to second base. Ruiz would then strike out trying to bunt the runners up a base. Greg Dobbs, who was pinch hitting for Romero, would hit a triple, scoring both Jenkins and Feliz, making it 12-6 Phils. After Rollins grounds out, Victorino would hit a RBI single, knocking in Dobbs. Utley would then follow with his fifteenth home run of the year, a two-runs blast that would make the score 15-6 Phillies. Howard would then end the inning by striking out. After that massive two innings barrage, the Phillies bullpen would take over, as Ryan Madson would pitch two innings and Clay Condrey would pitch one, and between them give up no runs on one hit, preserving the win.
Cole Hamels would get a no-decision as he would be hit hard by the Astros, lasting only four innings as he gives up all six of Houston’s runs, all earned, on seven hits. Rudy Seanez would get the win, as he goes one full inning, giving up no runs on one hit. His record is now 3-3 with a 2.75 ERA. J.C. Romero would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Ryan Madson would pitch two innings, giving up no runs on one hit. Clay Condrey would go one inning, giving no runs on no hits. Astros’ starter Chris Sampson would also get a no-decision, as he goes five innings, giving up four earned runs on five hits. Fernando Nieve would take the lost, as he faced four batters, getting none of them out, while giving up four earned runs on four hits. Wesley Wright would go one inning, giving up one run on one hit. Dave Borkowski would also pitch an inning, as he would be lighted up for six runs on six hits. Oscar Villarreal would pitch two innings, giving up no runs on no hits.
The Phillies will now leave Houston with a split series (2-2) and a winning road trip (4-3), with the offense punishing the ball in three of their games on the road, and missing out on victories in their middle games with Houston, while the starters in this series would seem to have run into various kinds of pitching trouble. The Phillies (28-24) will now come home for a ten games home stand, which will start tomorrow night with the first of three games against the 2007 National League Champions Colorado Rockies (20-30, 3rd National League West). The game will start at Citizens Bank Park at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Jamie Moyer (4-3, 4.37), who is coming off of a win against the Nationals on May 21, where he went six innings, giving up no runs on seven hits, in the Phils’ 12-2 blow out of the Nationals. Moyer has won his last two starts, and hopes to improve his record, while trying to give the bullpen a rest. The Rockies will oppose him with Jorge DeLaRosa (1-2, 7.78), who is coming off of a no-decision against the Giants on May 19, where he pitched five and one-third innings, giving up three runs, two of which were earned, on four hits, in the Rockies’ 4-3 win. DeLaRosa has not have a good year so far this season, as he has given up four or more earned runs in his two loses. He hopes to even his record, while the Phillies’ batters hope to take advantage of his wildness.
The Phils are presently two games behind the Marlins, who have earlier defeated the Giants in the first game of their doubleheader, and are at the moment trailing the Giants 4-2 in the second game. They are now trailing the Braves by .002 percentage points as the Braves have lost their game with the Diamondbacks. The Braves and the Phils are once again leading the Mets by two games as the Mets have just lost their game with the Rockies.
The Phillies (27-23) will conclude their four games trip to Houston by playing two more games against the Astros (28-22, 3rd National League Central) tonight and tomorrow afternoon. Tonight’s game will be played at Minute Maid Park, starting at 7:05 pm Eastern (6:05 pm Central). The Phils’ starter will be Brett Myers (2-5, 5.76), who, although pitching well, came up with the lost in the Phils’ 4-0 lost to the Nationals. In that game, he would pitch six innings, giving up only three earned runs on eight hits. Myers has lost four of his five starts for the Phils, while getting a no-decision in his other start, which the Phils also lost. Career wise, he is 3-2 against the Astros, with a 4.91 ERA, in seven starts. One of his victories over the Astros came earlier this year as he received the victory in the Phils’ 10-2 win against the Astros back on April 17. In that game, he would pitch seven innings, giving up only one earned run on five hits. It was after this game that he began to have his pitching troubles. Hopefully he will improve on his last start, and improve his record with a victory. His opponent will be Brian Moehler (1-1, 4.76), who is coming off a lost to the Cubs on May 19, where he went only five innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits in the Astros’ 7-2 lost. This will probably be his last start, as the Astros are expected to reactive Wandy Rodriguez next week. He hopes to improve his record with a win against the Phillies.
The final game of the Phillies’ trip to Houston, and of their seven games road trip, will be played tomorrow afternoon in Minute Maid Park. The game will start at 2:05 pm Eastern (1:05 pm Central). The Phils’ starter for that game will be Cole Hamel (5-3, 2.61), who is coming off a no-decision against the Nationals on May 20. In that game, he would give up no runs on four hits while striking out eleven, which the Phils would eventually win 1-0. Hamels has not given up a run in his last nineteen innings, going back to the last three innings of his start against the Giants on May 9. Hamels has won three of his last five starts, with the Phils winning all five. His career record against the Astros is 3-0 with a 3.14 ERA. He hopes to throw up some more goose eggs while trying to improve his record and continue to lower his ERA. The Astros will be sending to the mound Chris Sampson (3-3, 5.91), who is coming off a win against the Cubs on May 20, when he pitched six and two-thirds innings, giving up two earned runs on seven hits, in the Astros’ 4-2 win. He has won two of his last four starts, pitching well in his wins and getting knocked around in his two no-decisions. Lifetime against the Phillies he is 0-2 with a 6.19 ERA in four games. He hopes to get his first career win against the Phils while improving his record.
The Phillies’ offense hope this time to supply both Myers and Hamels with some runs support, unlike they did during the two games that the pair have pitched in Washington, when they scored only one run in eighteen innings. They also hope to continue their hitting displays of Wednesday and Thursday night, when they knocked in nineteen runs on thirty hits.
After finishing their series in Houston, the Phils will go home to Citizens Bank Park, where they will begin a ten games home stand, starting on Monday with a three games series against the 2007 National League Champions Colorado Rockies.
The Phillies are trailing the Marlins by a game and a half, along with the Braves, who are leading them by .002 percentage points. Both the Phils and the Braves are leading the presently slumping Mets by four games. The Phillies plan on winning their final two games in Houston so that they can have both a winning series and a winning road trip.
The Phillies (27-22) continue their trip to Houston with their second of four games against the Astros (27-22, 3rd National League Central) at Minute Maid Park. The game will start at 8:05 pm Eastern (7:05 pm Central). The Phillies will send to the mound Adam Eaton (0-2, 5.59), who is coming off a lost against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 17, where he went only five innings as he gave up four earned runs on eight hits, in the Phillies’ 6-3 lost. In his previous start against the Astros back on April 15, he would pitch six innings as he gave up three earned runs on seven hits while receiving a no-decision, in the Phils’ dramatic 4-3 come from behind win. Eaton will be looking for his first win of the year while Phillies fans wonder how much longer he’ll stay in the starting rotation. The Astros will counter with Brandon Backe (3-5, 4.58), who is coming off a win against the Texas Rangers on May 18, where he pitched six and a third innings, giving up only three earned runs on five hits, in the Astros’ 5-4 victory. In his previous start against the Phils on April 17, he took the lost as he pitched only three innings as he gave up five earned runs on ten hits, in the Astros’ 10-2 lost. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to get even for his earlier defeat at the hands of the Phillies’ offense.
Speaking of the offense, after being able to score only one run in the first eighteen innings of their series in Washington against the Nationals, the Phils have since then scored ninteen runs in the last eighteen innings. While some runs have come via the long ball, most of them have come via the use of small ball. Hopefully it’ll continue during the rest of their road trip. Also, Ryan Howard appears to be on a hitting tear, as he has gone six for his last ten at bats, hitting two doubles and three home runs, while knocking in six RBIs and scoring four runs. Howard is now hitting over .200 with a batting average of .207. But Howard appears to be not the only Phils on a tear as Shane Victorino has just raised his batting average to .263 as he has gotten eight hits in his last four starts, including two doubles and a home run. And Pedro Feliz in his last three starts has gone seven for thirteen with a home run, raising his average to .252. Hopefully the bats will continue to strike during their stay in Houston.
The Phillies are a game and a half behind the Marlins, who will start a three games series in Miami against the Giants. They are technically tied for second with the Braves, trailing them by .002 percentage points, as they begin a four games series at home against the presently reeling Diamonbacks. Both they and the Braves are three games ahead of the Mets, who are continuing their own road trip with a three games series with the Rockies in Denver. After Sunday’s afternoon game with the Astros, the Phils will come home to start a ten games home stand, starting with a three games series with the reigning National League Champion Colorado Rockies. The Phillies will be trying to keep pace with the Marlins and Braves while trying to stay even further ahead of the presently floundering Mets.
In less than an hour, the Phils will face the Pirates for the second game of a three game set and for the next to last game of a so far successful seven games in three cities road trip. The game starts at about 7:05 pm eastern time at PNC Park. The Phils starter will be second year pitcher Kyle Kendrick. Kendrick is presently 1-2 with a 5.59 ERA. His last game, which occurred this past Monday night against the National League Champions Colorado Rockies, saw him get rock for five earned runs in five innings of work. Luckily for Kyle, the Phils came from behind to win, giving him a no decision. Kyle should hopefully regain the form which he showed in his third game against the Houston Astros on the 16th, where he went seven full innings and gave up only two earned runs in a losing cause. The Bucos will counter with Matt Morris who is 0-3 with an ERA of 9.15, but has been a pain in the neck to the Phils with a lifetime win-lost record of 5-3 and an ERA of 3.57. The Phils hitters should take advantage of his present pitching woes and high ERA, especially if they can stay patient in the batter’s box while facing him.
Hopefully the Phillies will win tonight’s game, increasing their present winning streak to three games and giving them a road trip record of 5-1 and an overall record of 14-11, while winning two of the series on their road trip and splitting the third.