The Phillies (46-39) will finish their three games visit with the Braves (40-45) tonight, with a chance for a sweep and, surprises of surprises, a winning road trip. The game will be played at Turner Field, with a start time of 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starting pitcher will be their ace, Cole Hamels (8-5, 3.38), who is coming off a good start against the Rangers on June 28, where he went seven innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 8-6 win. He has already faced the Braves once this season, pitching a four-hit shut out against them on May 15, going all nine innings, in the Phillies’ 5-0 win. He will be shooting for his ninth win of the year and to complete the Phillies’ second straight sweep of the Braves in their own home ballpark, as well as give the Phillies a commanding 8-1 lead in the season series. The Braves will counter with Jair Jurrjens (8-3, 2.94), who will be looking to prevent the sweep. He is coming off a victory against the Blue Jays on June 27, where he would pitch eight innings, giving up no earned runs on three hits, in the Braves’ 4-0 win. In his last four starts, he has won three of them, with a no-decision in the fourth, which was also won by the Braves. In those four starts, he would give up only five earned runs in twenty-seven and two-thirds innings of work, while giving up no earned runs in his last twenty-three and two-thirds innings, while also giving up only twenty-five hits. He will also be shooting for his ninth victory of the year, while seeing if he can stop the Phillies’ just reawaken bats and keep the Braves from being swept for the second straight time by the Phillies.
The Phillies’ offense appear to have reawaken after being put to sleep by interleague play against some very good American League teams (and the Rangers). They are once again getting extra-base hits, having gotten nine (4 (2B), 1 (3B), 4 (HR)) of them among their twenty-seven hits. If the offense can continue to hit through their upcoming four games series with the Mets, then they will be tough to beat for the rest of the season. They can right now establish a stranglehood on the division, if their starting pitching can continue to pitch as well as they are right now, in spite of the Brett Myers situation, and the bullpen can stay in its league leading form. The resurgence of the Phillies’ hot bats can only mean trouble for the other teams in a very weak division.
The Phillies are presently leading the Marlins by a game and a half, as they begin a four games series with the Rockies in Denver. Their lead over the Mets is now at four and a half games as they prepare to conclude their four games series with the Cardinals. The Braves are now trailing the Phillies by six games, as they prepare for the last games of their series with the first place Phillies, before getting ready for a three games home stand with the Astros. The Phillies will now be trying to create some breathing space between them and their nearest opponents as they get closer to the All-Star break.
Without worrying about Ken Griffey’s Jr.’s bat being in the Reds’ lineup as Junior was taking the day off because of soreness from participating in Sunday’s afternoon game against the Braves, the Phils would hang on to defeat the Reds, 5-4. The Phillies would take a quick 2-0 lead in the first on Chase Utley’s major league leading twenty-first home run of the year off of Reds’ starter Bronson Arroyo, scoring Shane Victorino, who has gotten on base earlier with a single. Utley has now homered in five straight games, tying a franchise record, which has been earlier accomplished by Bobby Abreu (2005), Mike Schmidt (1979) and Dick Allen (1969). The Red would get a run back in the top of the fourth when Jay Bruce would hit his third home run of the year off of Phillies’ starter Kyle Kendrick, making the score 2-1 Phils. In the Phillies’ half of the inning, they would increase their lead as Pedro Feliz would hit his eighth home run of the season, knocking in Geoff Jenkins, who has earlier doubled, making it 4-1 Phillies. Chis Coste would then follow him with a solo shot of his own off of Arroyo, his sixth home run of the year, to make it a 5-1 Phillies’ lead. Edwin Encarnacion would then cut the Phillies’ lead down to 5-2 when he hits a lead off home run off of Kendrick in the fifth, for his ninth home run of the season. One inning later, the Reds would shorten the lead to 5-4 Phillies when, with two out and two men on, Adam Dunn would hit a two-run double off of Chad Durbin, who was pitching in relief of Kendrick, scoring Ryan Freel, who got on base earlier by being safe on a force out, and Bruce, who has earlier singled. Durbin would then get out of the inning with a strike out. That would be it for the Reds as Durbin, Tom Gordon and Brad Lidge would only give up a single among them in the last three innings, with Lidge recording his fourteenth save of the year.
Kyle Kendrck would get the win, as he would pitch five and one-third innings, giving up all four earned runs on five hits. His record is now 5-2 with an ERA of 5.00. Chad Durbin would pitch one and two-thirds innings of relief, giving up no earned runs on two hits. Tom Gordon and Brad Lidge would each pitch a 1-2-3 inning, both giving up no runs on no hits, while Lidge would record his fourteenth save of the year. Bronson Arroyo would get the lost, as he would go only four and a third innings, giving up all five earned runs on ten hits. His record is now 4-5 with an ERA of 5.61. Gary Majewski would pitch one and two-third innings in relief, giving up no runs on one hit. Bill Bray would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits while walking two. David Weathers would pitch an inning and a third in relief, giving up no runs on one hit.
The Phillies’ offense continue its attack as it get twelve hits in the game, including five extra-base hits (2 (2B), 3 (HR)), as they lit up the ERA of yet another opposing starter. In spite of Chad Durbin allowing two runs to score, which would both be charged to Phils’ starter Kyle Kendrick, the Phillies’ bullpen would have yet another successful outing, as they slammed the door shut on the Reds. The Phillies are now nine games above .500 for the first time this season.
The Phillies-Reds four games series will continue tomorrow night from Citizens Bank Park. The game will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ (34-25) will be starting Adam Eaton (1-3, 4.99), who is coming off of his first victory of the season against the Rockies on May 28, when he would go six innings, giving up only an earned run on four hits, while striking out four and walking just one batter, in the Phillies’ 6-1 win. His career record against the Reds is 2-0 with an ERA of 4.19 in six starts, which includes his earlier start this year against the Reds (28-30, 5th National League Central) on April 5, where he went seven and two-thirds innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits as he received a no-decision, in the Phillies’ 4-3 lost. He will be trying for his second win of the season, while hoping that the bats will once again gives him some runs. His opponent will be Aaron Harang (2-7, 3.81), who is coming off of a lost to the Pirates on May 29, where he would pitch only four innings, as he gives up six earned runs on ten hits, in the Reds’ 7-2 lost. He has already pitched against the Phillies, also versus Eaton, on April 5, where he would get a no-decision while pitching seven innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits, with six strikeouts. He will be trying to get his third win of the season while trying to avoid being involved in another bad start.
With their win, the Phillies are now a game and a half ahead of the second place Marlins, who have lost their game against the Braves in extra-innings. Their win against the Marlin will keep the Braves in third place, still trailing the Phils by three and a half games. The Mets’ lost to the Giants put them back into fourth place, four and a half games behind the Phillies. The Phillies hope to continue winning at home while increasing their lead against their rivals in the division.
The first place Phillies (33-25) are set to host the Reds (28-29, 5th National League Central) for the last four games of a so far very successful ten games home stand (5-1). The first game of the four games series will be played tonight at Citizens Bank Park, starting at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starting pitcher will be Kyle Kendrick (4-2, 4.84), who is coming off of a win against the Rockies on May 27, where he would pitch seven and a third effective innings, giving up only two earned runs on seven scattered hits, while striking out five Rockies, in the Phils’ 7-4 victory. Lifetime against the Reds he is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in two starts. He hope to continue pitching well, while trying to help the Phillies increase their lead in the East with a win. The Reds will counter with Bronson Arroyo (4-4. 5.29), who is coming off of two straight wins, his most recent being against the luckless Pirates on May 28. In that game, he would go six innings, giving up only one earned run on three hits, in the Reds’ 9-1 rout. He will be trying to help the Reds make it four wins in a row, after sweeping the Braves during the weekend, while hoping that he will be the third straight starter to cool down the Phillies’ hot bats.
During the Reds’ visit, Ken Griffey, Jr. will be aiming for his 600th career home run of his long career, planning to become the sixth man in major league history to accomplish it. The Phllies’ pitching staff will do everything that they can to keep Junior from doing it in Citizens Bank Pank. Which of the two will be more successful, Junior or the Phillies’ pitchers? We’ll know for certain by the end of Thursday night’s game.
Edit: Ken Griffey, Jr. did not play in tonight’s game because of soreness from Sunday’s afternoon game against the Braves. He should be able to play in tomorrow night’s game. .
The Phillies’ bats have cooled down a bit after their eruption on Friday night. In the last two games of the Marlins’ series, the offense would only get twelve hits, although they would score twelve runs, thanks to two key home runs in the final game of their three games series which helped put them back into first place. Of those twelve hits, five of them would be extra-base hits (2 (2B), 3 (HR)). The offense is pose for another eruption, which Reds’ pitching hope won’t come at their expense. One of the pluses of the recent outburst is that the bullpen has been well rested and should be ready for this series.
The Phils have a half game lead over the second place Marlins, who are starting a four games with the Braves, who are now tied for third place with the Mets, thanks to their being swept by the Reds in Cincinnati. The Braves, who will be hosting the Marlins for four, and the Mets are both trailing the Phillies by three and a half game. Although both teams have the same percentage point, the Mets have played two games less than the Braves, while they have at the same time lost one game less. After defeating the Dodgers for the second straight time last night, they will be going to San Francisco to start a three games series with the Giants. The Phillies will be trying to do very well in their present series so that they can increase their respective leads against each team, before they head out to Atlanta to begin a three games weekend series with the Braves.
Starting with their visit to Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., the Phillies has become a scoring monster. Starting with their third game at Nationals Park, they have crossed the plate an amazing total of ninety-five times, which comes out to over nine runs a game during those eleven games. In those eleven games, they have racked up a total of one hundred and twenty hits, of which fifty were for extra-base hits (28 (2B), 1 (3B), 21 (HR)). During that time span, there has only been one game in which they did not hit a home run (May 27, 2008, during their 7-4 defeat of the Rockies). They have scored ten or more runs four times, with the twenty runs that they’d scored on Memorial Day (May 26) being their highest number for the season thus far. They have had ten or more hits in six games, with their highest total for the year being nineteen hits, also on Memorial Day. In their three loses during this period, they would be held to only three runs in each one. During their recent five games winning streak, the offense would score sixty runs on sixty-one hits, of which twenty-six would be for extra-base hits (15 (2B), 1 (3B), 10 (HR)). The team’s batting average during the winning streak would be .335 (61 for 182), while they would receive twenty-seven walks, and stole six bases, while striking out twenty-five times, During the entire eleven games period, their team batting average would be .296 (120 for 406), getting fifty bases on balls, and stealing ten bases, while striking out sixty-four times. Including their first two games in Washington, the Phillies have won six of their last seven games and nine of their last thirteen. With the weather continuing to get warmer, the question won’t be, will the Phillies’ bat come alive and support the starters. The question will instead be, will the starters be able to get enough confident in their pitching that they’ll relax and just get aggressive with opposing teams’ batters.
Note: If any of the other Phillies’ bloggers who read my posts want to do a further analysis of what the players on the team have done during those eleven/thirteen games, and want to use the numbers that I’d just supplied in this post, or make any corrections to my numbers, you have my permission. Just be sure to give me a hat tip when you do. Thanks.
The now first place Phillies (32-24) continue their three games series with the second place Marlins (30-23) with two more games at Citizens Bank Park. The first of the two weekend games will be played tonight, starting at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will be sending to the mound their young ace, Cole Hamels (5-3, 3.18), who is coming off a bad outing against the Astros on May 25, where he would last only four innings, giving up six earned runs on seven hits, while not be able to record a strikeout, as he received a no-decision in the Phillies’ 15-6 thrasing of Houston. He has won three of his last six starts, while receiving three no decisions, all won by the Phils, in which he would go forty and a third innings, giving up only sixteen earned runs, including a spell where he would go nineteen and two-thirds innings without giving up a run, on thirty-three scattered hits. Lifetime against the Marlins, he is 2-2 in four starts with an ERA of 4.13. He will be looking for his first victory in three starts, while trying to help increase the Phillies’ first place lead and increase the Phils’ winning streak to six games in a row. He will be opposed by Ricky Nolasco (4-3, 4.70), who is coming off of a victory against his major nemesis, the Mets, on May 26, where he would pitch five innings, giving up only three earned runs on nine hits, in the Marlins’ 7-3 win. He is presently riding a two games winning streak, which he hopes to extend to three while trying to slow down the Phillies’ offense juggernaut and put the Marlins back into first place.
The final game of the three games home stand will be played at Citizens Bank Park tomorrow afternoon, at 1:35 pm Eastern time. The Phils’ starter will be Jamie Moyer (5-3, 4.45), who is coming off an excellent outing against the Rockies on May 26, where he would go seven innings, giving up only four earned runs on six hits while striking out seven, in the Phillies’ 20-5 rout. He has won four of his last five starts, getting a lot of run support from the offense in his wins. He hopes to win his fourth start in a row while keeping the Marlins on the ropes. The Marlins will counter with Andrew Miller (4-4, 5.53), who is coming off a recent lost to the Mets on May 27, where he pitched only four and two-thirds innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits, in the Marlins’ 5-3 lost. He hopes to improve his record while trying to see if he can quiet down the Phillies’ offensive machine.
The Phillies’ offense has been very potent during their last nine games, and hope to continue during the rest of the weekend series as they expect to receive good pitching performances from both Hamels and Moyer to help derail the Marlins so that they can increase their present lead over the Marlins by trying to end the weekend with a sweep, giving themselves a seven games winning streak, and putting themselves ten games over .500 for the season.
The first place Phils lead the Marlins by half a game, while they lead the third place Braves by two and a half game, although the Braves are presently leading the Reds in their game, and lead the fourth place Mets by four and a half games, although they are presently losing their game with the Dodgers. The Phils hope to end the weekend with at least a half game lead over the fish while increasing their leads over both the Braves and the Mets.
After the Marlins leave town, the Phils will complete their ten games home stand with a four games series against the Cincinnati Reds.
Edit: The Mets have come from behind to defeat the Dodgers, 3-2. So they are at the moment trailing the Phillies by four games.
Edit 2: The Reds have just defeated the Braves in 10 innings, 8-7. The Braves are now trailing the Phils by three games.
Edit 3: The Phils are presently leading the Marlins, 1-0, in the middle of the 3rd inning.
The Phillies regain first place from the Marlins, as their very potent offense crushes the fish in the first game of a three games weekend series between the two rivals, 12-3. The Marlins would score first though, when, in the first inning, Phils’ starter Brett Myers would give up a RBI single to Jorge Cantu, scoring Hanley Ramirez, who has earlier singled, to give the Marlins a quick 1-0 lead. Three batters later, with the bases loaded and one out, Luis Gonzalez would hit a RBI single, knocking in Jeremy Hermida, who has earlier walked, and Cantu, giving the Marlins a 3-0 lead. But that would be it for the Marlins, as Myers would finally get out of the innings, and he would then pitch a 1-2-3 second. In the Phillies half of the inning, the Phillies would pound Marlins’ starter Mark Hendrickson. Ryan Howard would start the inning off with a walk. Pat Burrell would then ground out, pitcher to first, moving Howard to second base. After Pedro Feliz singles Howard over to third, Chris Coste would tie the game by hitting his fifth home run of the year, making it a 3-3 ballgame. Three batters later, with two men on base and two outs, Shane Victorino would hit a two-run double, scoring So Taguchi, who has earlier singled, and Brett Myers, who had just walked, to give the Phils a 5-3 lead. Chase Utley would then follow with his major league leading eighteenth home run of the year, a two-run shot, making it 7-3 Phillies. The Phillies would add four more runs in the fourth. Jimmy Rollins would single in Taguchi, who has earlier walked, to make it 8-3 Phillies. Two batters later, with runners on first and third, and two outs, Howard would hit a three-run home run, his fifteenth home run of the season, off of Burke Badenhop, who was pitching in relief of the knocked around Hendrickson, scoring Victorino, who was safe on a force out, and Chase Utley, who has earlier singled, giving the Phillies a 11-3 lead. Meanwhile, something seems to have clicked with Myers, as he seems to have returned to his earlier form, as he would give up only three more hits to the Marlins after the first inning, while stirking out eleven. The Phillies would score just one more run, in the seventh inning, as Howard, who has gotten on base earlier with a walk, would score with the base loaded, as Taguchi is walked by Taylor Tankersley, making it 12-3 Phils. Clay Condrey would then take over in the ninth for Myers, putting down the shocked Marlins for a 1-2-3 inning.
Brett Myers is the winning pitcher, winning his first ballgame since April 17, when he defeated the Astros. He did it by going eight innings, giving up only three earned runs, all in the first inning, on six hits, while striking one eleven Marlins. His record is now 3-6 with an ERA of 5.52. Clay Condrey would pitch one shut out inning in relief, giving up no runs on no hits, while striking out two. Mark Hendrickson would suffer the lost as he gets pounded by the Phillies’ bats in three and a third innings of work, giving up ten earned runs on seven hits, while walking three. His record is now 7-3 as his ERA rises to 5.26. Burke Badenhop would pitch an inning and a third in relief, giving up an earned run on one hit. Taylor Tankersley would also pitch an inning and a third, also giving up an earned run on no hits. Justin Miller would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Joe Nelson would go an inning in relief, giving up no runs on no hits.
With the win, the Phillies regain first place, as they ride on their first five games winning streak of the season. The Phillies are also a season best eight games over .500. During their winning streak, the Phils have scored sixty runs, averaging twelve runs per game. During that span, they have also gotten sixty-one hits, of which 26 has been extra-base hits (15 (2B), 1 (3B) , 10 (HR)). In their last nine games, starting with the last game of their three games series with the Nationals, the Phillies have scored eighty-five runs, averaging about 9.45 runs a game, while getting 108 total hits, of which forty-five were extra-base hits (26 (2B), 1 (3B) and 18 (HR)). It is indeed hitting season. At the same time, Phillies’ starting pitching, during the five game winning streak, has given up only sixteen runs, which average out to 3.2 runs a game, while the relief staff has allowed only three runs, which average out to 0.60 runs a game. In their last nine games, the starters have given up twenty-eight total runs, for an average of 3.11 runs per game, while the relief core have given up only six runs, which average out to 0.67 runs per ballgame. As the offense is racking up the runs and hits, the pitching staff is giving up to their opponents very few runs in return. During those nine games, the defense has been almost flawless, committing only three errors, all occurring during the Rockies’ series, against seven for their opponents. It would appear that all aspects of the Phillies game are starting to come together at the same time, which might be a cause of alarm for the rest of the National League East.
The three games series between the now first place Phillies (32-24) and the second place Marlins (20-23) will continue tonight from Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be their ace, Cole Hamels (5-3, 3.18), who is coming off a no-decision, as he pitched poorly in his last start against the Astros on May 25, where he would only pitch four innings, giving up six earned runs on seven hits, in the Phils’ 15-6 crushing of Houston. Hamels has won three of his last six starts, with the other three being no-decisions, all won by the Phils, as he has gone a total of forty and a thirds innings, giving up only sixteen earned runs, which includes a period when he would give up no runs for nineteen and two-thirds innings, on thirty-three hits. His career numbers against the Marlins is 2-2 with a 4.13 ERA in four starts. He will be trying to get his first win in three starts, while trying to increase the Phillies’ lead in the National League East. The Marlins will be opposing him with Ricky Nolasco (4-3, 4.70), who is coming off a win, his second in a row, and third in his last four starts, against the Mets on May 26. He would go five innings in that game, giving up only three earned runs on nine hits, in the Marlins’ 7-3 win. He will be trying to stop the Phillies’ hitting juggernaut and put the Marlins back into first place.
The now first place Phillies lead the Marlins by half a game after their victory over the fish. They are leading the Braves by two and a half games, as the Braves lost their game with the Reds in extra-innings. The Phils are leading the Mets by four and a half games as the Mets lost their game to the Dodgers. The Phils will be trying to increase their respective leads over the other teams in their division, as they try to win their sixth game in a row and their ninth in their last eleven games.