Tagged: Out at Home Plate

2008 World Series: Game 5.5: The Phillies are the 2008 World Champions of the Baseball World.

The Phillies have won the 2008 World Series, winning the series four games to one, as they would outscore the Rays in the final three and a half innings of this past Monday’s suspended game five, 4-3. As play resumed, Rays’ manager Joe Maddon would decide to leave Grant Balfour in the game. Pinch hitter Geoff Jenkins would be the first batter to face him in the Phillies’ half of the sixth, and he would greet him with a hard hit double to center. Jimmy Rollins would follow with an excellent sacrifice bunt, that would go 5-3 for the inning’s first out, as he would move Jenkins over to third base. Then, with the Rays’ infield pulled in to prevent a run, Jayson Werth would hit a pop up into shallow center field. Ray’s second baseman Akinori Iwamura would be unable to make an over-the-shoulder basket catch of the ball, as it would drop in for a RBI single, scoring Jenkins, and giving the Phillies a 3-2 lead. Balfour is then taken out of the ballgame by Maddon and is replaced on the mound by J.P. Howell. Howell would then end the inning by first getting Utley to strike out swinging for the inning’s second out, and after Werth would steal second, he would get Ryan Howard to pop out to third for the final out of the inning. Charlie Manuel would then put out in place of Cole Hamels, who is now in line to be the game’s winning pitching, Ryan Madson. Madson would proceed to strike out Dioner Navarro looking for the inning’s first out. But then he would give up a solo home run to Rocco Baldelli to left, tying the game up at three apiece, and thus denying Hamels his chance to make World Series history by winning all five of his starts. Jason Bartlett would then follow with a single. The next batter, Howell, would sacrifice the runner over to second, 1-4, for the inning’s second out, as he put a runner in scoring position. Madson is then replaced by J.C. Romero. Iwamura would then hit a ground ball towards second base, that Utley would be able to grab, but would then have no play to make at first, as Iwamura would get an infield single. But, Utley would then throw a strike towards home plate as he would see Bartlett trying to score from second on the play. His throw would beat Bartlett to home plate and then Carlos Ruiz would tag out a sliding Bartlett to keep the game tied at three all. In the Phillies’ half of the seventh, Pat Burrell would start the inning off with a double to left center field. As he would be replaced on second base by pinch runner Eric Bruntlett, the Rays would replace Howell on the mound with Chad Bradford. Shane Victorino would then hit the ball to the right side of the infield, after being unable to put down a bunt, for the inning’s first out, 4-3, while Bruntlett would move on over to third base. This move would once again force the Rays to bring in their infield. Pedro Feliz would take advantage of this move as he would hit a RBI single to center, scoring Bruntlett and giving the Phillies’ a 4-3 lead. Ruiz would then follow Feliz by hitting into a force out, 4-6, wiping out Feliz at second for the second out. Romero would then bat for himself and proceed to hit into a force out, 4-6, for the inning’s final out. Romero would then stay in to pitch the eighth. Chris Crawford would start the inning off with a single. B.J. Upton would then hit into a 6-4-3 double play, doubling up Crawford at second base, putting no one on base with two men out. Romero would then end the inning by getting Carlos Pena to fly out to left for the final out. In the Phillies’ eighth, the Rays would send out David Price to keep the game close. Prince would proceed to get Rollins to fly out to left for the inning’s first out and then would strike out Werth for out number two. Utley would then get on base with a walk. After Utley would steal second, Howard would end the inning by striking out. In the Rays’ ninth, the Phillies would hand the ball over to Brad Lidge to end the game. Lidge would get Evan Longorio to pop out to Utley for the first out of the inning. Navarro would then get on base with a single. Navarro would be replaced at first by pinch runner Fernando Perez, while pinch hitter Ben Zobrist would come to the plate. After Perez would steal second base, Lidge would get Zobrist out as he lines out directly to the right fielder for the second out of the inning. Maddon would then send out pinch hitter Eric Hinske to try and take the lead with one swing of the bat. Instead, Lidge would strike Hinske out for the game’s final out, as he would record his forty-eighth straight save in forty-eight attempts and his seventh save of the post-season, and lead to the start of a celebration among the Phillies, as they would win their second World Championship in the team’s 126 years of existance.

Cole Hamels would get a no-decision, as he would pitch six strong innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out three. Ryan Madson would pitch two-thrids of an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits, while striking out one. J.C. Romero would get the win as he pitches a scoreless inning and a third, giving up only two hits. His series’ record is now 2-0 with an 0.00 ERA. Brad Lidge would record his second save of the series, pitching a scoreless inning, as he would give up just a hit, while striking out one, as he records his forty-eighth straight save, and his seventh in the post-season. Scott Kazmir would also get a no-decision, as he would go only four innings plus two batters, giving up two earned runs on four hits, six walks and a hit batsman, while striking out five. Grant Balfour would pitch an inning and a third, giving up an earned run on two hits. J.P. Howell would get the lost as he would pitch two-thirds of an inning plus one batter, giving up an earned run on one hit, while striking out one. His series’ record is now 0-2 with an ERA of 7.71. Chad Bradford would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit. David Price would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up just a walk, while striking out two.

During the celebration, which would include Bud Selig giving David Montgomery, Pat Gillick and Charlie Manuel the World Series Trophy, Cole Hamels would be announced as being the 2008 World Series MVP. It would later be announced that the city of Philadelphia plans to hold its World Series parade on Friday. And it would appear that the parade wouldl be shown on at least one of the local networks. I can’t wait. 🙂

Now that the Phillies have won the series, I would like to first apologize for the number of times that I’ve shown a lack faith in the guys actually being able to get into the World Series. Next, I would like to laugh in the face of the so-called experts who during the post-season have never given the Phillies the chance to win the Series, including FOX. Ha-HA, in your face, experts. Lastly, I would like to congratulate the Tampa Bay Rays for doing as well as they did this season to get into the World Series as well. I am sure that they’ll be back in the series at some point during the next few years.

Next stop, the victory parade. I love a parade, etc. etc. 🙂

2008 World Series: Game 2: Inability to knock in men in scoring position do in the Phillies as they fall to the Rays, 4-2. Series come to Philadelphia tied at a game apiece.

The inability to knock in runs with men in scoring position in the first seven innings would waste a good effort by Brett Myers as the Phillies would lose to the Rays, 4-3. The lost would tie the series up at a win apiece as the series will now come to Philadelphia for three games. The Rays would score first in the first, as Carlos Pena would hit a RBI ground out, 6-3, scoring Akinori Iwamura, who has earlier walked and would go to third on B.J. Upton’s single, giving the Rays a 1-0 lead. An Evan Longoria ground out, also 6-3, would make it 2-0 Rays, as it would score Upton, who has singled, would go to second on Jayson Werth’s fielding error as he would take his eye off the ball as he looked to see what Iwamura was going to do on the single, and has moved up to third on Pena’s earlier ground out. The Phillies would threaten to come back in the second as they would put runners on third and second via a double (Ryan Howard), a walk (Pat Burrell) and a wild pitch, with only one out, but Rays’ starter James Shields would get out of the inning by first striking out Greg Dobbs looking and then getting Pedro Feliz out on a liner to center field. The Rays would add to their lead in the second, as, with the bases loaded via a single (Dioner Navarro), a walk (Rocco Baldelli (on what should have been strike three swinging since he had swung through the pitch and was originally called out by the home plate umpire Kerwin Danley, but who would then reverse his call after calling for help from the first base umpire Fieldin Culbreth, who would claim that there was actually no swing by Baldelli)) and a second single (Jason Bartlett), and two men out, Upton would hit a RBI single to right, scoring Navarro, making it 3-0 Rays. But, the following runner, Baldelli, would then be tagged out at home plate as Werth would throw a strike to Carlos Ruiz, who would then block the plate and successfully tag out Baldelli to end the inning. The Phillies would threaten again in the third as they would put a runner on third (Ruiz) via a double and a Jimmy Rollins’ ground out, 4-3. But, they would once again be left empty handed as Shields would get out of the inning by first striking out Werth swinging and then getting Utley to ground out, 4-3. The Phillies would try once again to score a run in the fourth, as they would put runners on the corners via a single to Howard and a single to Shane Victorino, which would send Howard on to third base, as it would go off of Rays’ first baseman Pena’s glove, saving a run for the moment. But once again the Phillies would be unable to score as Shields would strike out Dobbs again, this time swinging, for the inning’s second out, and then get Feliz to this time ground out, 5-3, ending the inning. The Rays would add a fourth run in their half of the fourth, as with runners on the corners and one out, Bartlett would knock in Cliff Floyd, who has earlier singled, moved to second on Navarro’s single and then moved on to third on Baldelli’s force out, cutting down Navarro at second, using a safety squeeze for out number two, 1-3. Brett Myers would then end the inning by getting Iwamura to ground out, 4-3. After that Myers would then gain control of the Rays during his last three innings of work, only giving up a walk and a single. Meanwhile, the Phillies would continue to threaten to score. They would get runners on first and second in the fifth, via a walk (Ruiz, who would then be forced out at second on a grounder by Rollins, 3-6) and a single (Werth), with one man out. But the inning would end as Werth would commit a base running blunder by straying too far off of first base on a Chase Utley fly out to right field, as he is quickly doubled up on a throw from Rays’ right fielder Baldelli to Pena. The Philles would try once more in the sixth, getting two men on via singles to Victornio and Dobbs, with the later’s hit sending Victornio to third, with two men out. But the inning would end as Rays’ reliever Dan Wheeler, pitching in relief of Shields, would get Feliz to once more ground out, this time a 5-4 force out as Dobbs is wiped out at second base. The Phillies would go at it again as they would put runners on second (Ruiz (walk and stolen base)) and first (Utley (walk)) with two men out. But Rays’ closer David Price would end the inning by striking out Howard looking. The Phillies would finally score a run in the eighth, as, with two men out, Eric Bruntlett would hit a pinch hit solo home run, cutting the Rays’ lead down to 4-1. After J.C. Romero would come in and pitch a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth, the Phillies would make one more attempt to get back into the game in the top of the ninth. Ruiz would start off the inning with a double. Rollins, on a 0-1 pitch from Price, would get part of his uniform hit by Price’s pitch. But, home plate umpire Kerwin Danley would instead claim that Rollins wasn’t touched by the pitch. Rollins, after getting the count full, would then pop up to second for the inning’s first out. Werth would then follow with a sharp grounder to Rays’ third baseman Longoria, who would be unable to play the ball, as it would bounce off of his glove and head towards center field, allowing Ruiz to score, making it 4-2 Ray, and Werth to reach first on the error. But, Price would then end the Phillies’ hopes as he would strike out Utley swinging and then get Howard to ground out to first base to end the game.

Brett Myers would get the lost as he would pitch seven innings, giving up four runs, only three of which were earned, on seven hits and three walks, while strking out two. His series’ record is now 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA. J.C. Romero would pitch a 1-2-3 inning, striking out one. James Shields would get the win as he would pitch a superb five and two-thirds inning, giving up no earned runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out four. His series’ record is now 1-0 with an 0.00 ERA. Dan Wheeler would pitch a scoreless inning of relief, giving up no hits and a walk, while striking out two. David Price would pitch two and a third innings of relief, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on two hits and a walk, while striking out two.

The Phillies’ season long achillies’ heel, being unable to knock in runners in scoring position, would hurt the Phils with avengence last night, as they would end up leaving eleven men on base, being unable to knock in runners in the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, especially with less than two outs, because of the batters’ inability to either get a key hit, hit the ball to the right side, or to just hit the ball deep into the outfield for a sacrifice fly. This would end up ruining a somewhat good performance by Brett Myers who, despite giving up four runs, might not have given up that many runs if not for Jayson Werth’s fielding error in the first inning, allowing B.J. Upton to reach second, and the yes it’s a swing, wait a minute it wasn’t a swing call by home plate umpire Kerwin Danley, in the second. If not for that boot and that bad call by the umpire, the game might have been a lot closer, even with the Phillies’ offense inability to score a run in the first seven innings. If there is any silver lining in this lost, it is that Ryan Howard might have finally gotten out of his slump, as he would go 2 for 5 with a double and a single, although he would also strike out in one at-bat with men in scoring position. At least he was able to hit the ball last night, unlike the first game. Anyway, the Phillies will now head for home, having left Tampa Bay with a spilt, and now preparing to defeat the Rays in three straight games at home in what will obviously be a very noisy Citizens Bank Park.

The third game of the 2008 World Series will be played tomorrow night in Citizens Bank Park. The game is scheduled to start at 8:22 pm Easten time. The Phillies starter with be Jamie Moyer (0-0, -.–), who will be coming off a bad start against the Dodgers on October 12 in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series, where he was only able to pitch an inning and a third, as he gave up six earned runs on six hits, while striking out two, in the Phillies’ 7-2 lost. In the post-season, he has a record of 0-2 with an ERA of 13.50, as he pitched only five and one-third innings, giving up eight earned runs on ten hits and three walks, while striking only five. His regular season record was 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA in thirty-three starts, as he would give up 85 runs, 81 of which were earned on 199 hits and 62 walks, while striking out 123 batters in 196 and one-third innings of work. Moyer will be trying to regain his late season form, going through a large number of innings while giving up very few runs, hoping to give the Phillies a 2-1 series lead over the much younger Rays, planning to use his experience against their youth. The Rays will counter with Matt Garza (0-0, -.–), who will be coming off a victory against the Red Sox on October 19, as he would pitch seven strong innings, giving up only one earned run on two hits and three walks, while striking out nine, in the Rays’ 3-1 win over the Red Sox, clinching the pennant and winning himself the American League Championship Series MVP. In the post-season, Garza’s record is 2-1 with an ERA of 3.32, as he would pitch nineteen innings, giving up seven earned runs on fifteen hits and ten walks, while striking out eighteen. During the regular season, his record was 11-9 with an ERA of 3.70 in thirty starts, as he gave up 83 runs, 76 of which were earned on 170 hits and 59 walks, while he struck out 128 batters in 184 and two-thirds innings. He will try to be as dominant against the Phillies’ batters as he was in his two starts against the Red Sox.

The key for the Phillies tomorrow will be for Jamie Moyer to regain his regular form, using his experience and his wit against a bunch of young guns who will probably be expecting to feast on his slow stuff. If he does, the Rays’ batters will be in for a long night. At the same time, the Phillies’ offense needs to rebound and starts knocking in runners in key situations by using both patient and strategic hitting. They may be force to have to use plays like the suicide and safety squeeze, like the Rays did in the fourth inning last night, to push runs across the plate when they have less than two men outs and a runner on third. It might look cheap, but if it’ll help to jump start the offense, then they should use it. Another key is once again for Jimmy Rollins to get on base in anyway he can, and for him to stop swinging at high fastballs. If that would require him to change his stance, then change his stance. At the moment, he is not catching up with those pitches. And lastly, Ryan Howard needs to continue what he did last night, as he is way over due for an offensive break out. He can only be held down for so long before he start to make someone pay for it. Hopefully, it’ll be the Rays and the payback will start tomorrow night.

GO PHILLIES!!!

National League Championship Series: Game 2: Brett Myers’ surprising bat help lead the Phillies’ offense as the Phillies defeated the Dodgers, 8-5, to take a two games to none lead in the NLCS.

Brett Myers’ surprising three hits would help lead the Phillies’ offensive attack as the Phillies defeated the Dodgers, 8-5. The Phillies now lead the National League Championship Series, two game to none, as it heads for Los Angeles. After a quiet first inning, the Dodgers would take the lead in the second, as, with runners on second and third, and one man out, Blake DeWitt would hit a RBI ground out, 3-1, scoring Andre Ethier, who has earlier singled and has gone to third on James Loney’s double, while Loney would move over to third, giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. After Phillies’ starter Brett Myers intentionally walks Casey Blake to put runners on the corner, Dodgers’ starter Chad Billingsley would end the inning by lining out to right. The Phillies would then go to work on Billingsley in their half of the second. After two quick outs, Greg Dobbs would start things off with a single to short. Carlos Ruiz would then follow with a RBI double, scoring Dobbs, and tying the game up at one run apiece. Myers would then help his own cause with a RBI single, scoring Ruiz, and giving the Phillies a 2-1 lead. Jimmy Rollins would then follow with a single to center, which would send Myers to third base. Rollins would move up to second on the play thanks to Dodgers’ center fielder Matt Kemp’s fielding error, which would put both runners in scoring position. Shane Victorino would then follow with a two-run single, scoring both Myers and Rollins, making it a 4-1 Phillies’ lead. After Chase Utley reaches base with a walk, moving Victorino over to second, Billingsley would finally get out of the inning by striking out Ryan Howard. The Dodgers would get a run back in the third, as, with runners on first and second and two outs, Loney would hit a RBI single, scoring Russell Martin, who has earlier walked, and has moved to second on Ethier’s walk, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 4-2, while moving Ethier to second. After Kemp reaches base on Dobbs’ fielding error, loading up the bases as Ethier and Loney would both move up a base, Myers would finally end the threat by striking out DeWitt. In the Phillies’ half of the third, they would go back to work on Billingsley. Pat Burrell would start the inning off with a single. Jayson Werth would follow with a double, sending Burrell to third. Billingsley would then intentionally walk Dobbs to load the bases. The Dodgers’ plan to not allow any more runs to score would work with Ruiz at the plate, as he would hit a ground ball to Loney, who would then throw to home plate, forcing out Burrell for the inning’s first out, while leaving the bases still loaded. But, it would fail with Myers, as he would slap a single past Loney into right field, scoring both Werth and Dobbs, while sending Ruiz over to third, giving the Phils a 6-2 lead. That would be it for Billingsley, as Dodgers’ manager Joe Torre would take him out and replace him with Chan Ho Park. Rollins would make the inning’s second out as he would strike out, looking. But Victorino would follow with a two-run triple, scoring both Ruiz and Myers, making it 8-2 Phillies. Torre would then come back out and replace Park with Joe Beimel. Beimel would then proceed to walk both Utley and Howard to load the bases as the Phillies have now batted around. Beimel is then taken out of the game and is replaced by James McDonald. McDonald would finally end the inning by striking out Burrell. The Dodgers would then cut the lead in the fourth, as with two men on and two out, Manny Ramirez would hit a three run home run, scoring Rafael Furcal, who has earlier reached base on a strikeout-pass ball, and would then move on to second on Martin’s single, making it an 8-5 Phillies’ lead. But that would be it as the Dodgers’ bullpen would keep the Phillies’ offense scoreless for the next five innings, while Myers would keep the Dodgers scoreless in the fifth, before handing it over to the Phillies’ bullpen, which would allow only two singles and a walk in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, before handing the ball over to Brad Lidge in the ninth. Lidge would start the inning off by walking Ramirez. He would then strike out Ethier on three pitches for out number one. He would then give up a walk to Loney, which would move Ramirez up to second, and put the tying run at the plate. But Lidge would then end the game by striking out both Kemp and Nomar Garciaparra, recording his second save of the series and his fourth save in the post-season.

Brett Myers would get the win as he pitches five somewhat strong innings, giving up five earned runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out six. His series record is now 1-0 with a 9.00 ERA. Chad Durbin, J.C. Romero and Ryan Madson would all combine for three shut out innings, giving up only two hits, (one apiece for both Durbin and Madson) and one walk (Romero), while striking out three (Romero (1), Madson (2)). Brad Lidge would get the save as he pitches a scoreless ninth, giving up no hits and walking two, while striking out the side, as he records his second save of the series and his forty-fifth straight save in forty-five tries. Chad Billingsley would get the lost as he would only last two and a third innings, giving up eight runs, only seven of which were earned, on eight hits and three walks, while striking out five. Chan Ho Park would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no earned runs on one hit, while striking out one. Joe Beimel would face only two batters, whom he both walked. James McDonald would pitch three and a third innings of shut out ball, giving up only two hits and walking one, while striking out five. Clayton Kershaw and Cory Wade would combine for two scoreless innings of work, giving up no hits and one walk (Kershaw), while striking out one (also Kershaw).

The Phillies’ offense would beat up on Dodgers’ starter Chad Billingsley, tagging him for eight runs, doing it mostly with singles, as they had only two extra-base hits against him (doubles by Carlos Ruiz and Jayson Werth), while their other extra-base hit was hit off of Chan Ho Park (Shane Victorino’s two-run triple). The surprising offensive star was Phillies’ starter Brett Myers as he went three for three, all singles, knocking in three runs, while scoring two. The Phillies other offensive stars were Greg Dobbs, who started the rally in the second inning, who went two for three with an intentional walk, scoring two runs, and Shane Victorino, who went two for five, knocking in four runs. The Phillies had a total of eleven hits, as each of the starters had at least one hit, except for Chase Utley, who went 0 for 1 with four walks, and Ryan Howard, who went 0 for 4 with a walk. Meanwhile, the Phillies’ pitching would limit the Dodgers’ offense to only eight hits, although one of them was a Manny Ramirez three-run home run on a good fastball in on him by Myers, that he was able to fist out of the ballpark. Otherwise, the Dodgers couldn’t do anything against either Myers or the bullpen as they struck out twelve times in the game.

The National League Championship Series will continue tomorrow night in Los Angeles. The game will be played in Dodgers Stadium and will begin at 8:22 pm Eastern (5:22 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be the veteran Jamie Moyer who is coming off a lost against the Brewers on October 4 in the National  League Divisional Series, where he was only able to pitch four inning, while giving up only two earned runs on four hits and three walks, while striking out three, in the Phillies’ 4-1 lost. His record in the series was 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA. His regular season record was 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA in 196 and a third innings of work, as he struck out 123 batters while walking only 62. He has not faced the Dodgers this year. He will be trying to do better than he did in his last start, hoping that he can make it three victories in a row against the Dodgers in the series. The Dodgers will counter with Hiroki Kuroda who is coming off his victory over the Cubs on October 4, where he pitched six and one third shut out innings, giving up only six hits and two walks, while striking out four, in the Dodgers’ 3-1 win, which clinched the National League Divisional Series for the Dodgers. His series record was 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. During the regular season, his record was 9-10 with a 3.73 ERA in 183 and one third innings of work, striking out 116 batters while walking 42. He has faced the Phillies twice this year, with an 1-0 record, with a no-decision, as he would pitch a combined total of thirteen innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits and two walks, while striking out twelve. He will be trying to stop the Dodgers’ present post-season slide, while hoping that the Phillies’ dangerous offense hasn’t finally awaken.

The series will now move to Los Angeles, where the Phillies will hope to win two of the next three games so that they can clinch the series early, before being forced to do so in Philadelphia.

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 6: The magic number into the playoffs is now one as the Phillies defeat the Braves, 6-2.

Behind Pat Burrell’s three-run shot in the bottom of the eighth inning and the solid pitching of rookie J.A. Happ and the bullpen, the Phillies have defeated the Braves, 6-2, cutting their magic number to get into the post-season down to one and to win the National League East down to four. Their lead in the East has increased to two and a half games as the Mets are unable to stop the Cubs. The Phillies took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as Chase Utley, with a runner on second and no one out, would hit a RBI double, knocking in Jimmy Rollins who has earlier doubled. The RBI would be the 100th of the season for Utley, the only Phil, other than Ryan Howard, to knock in so many runs. The Phillies would increase their lead to 2-0 in the second, as, with a runner on third and one out, Carlos Ruiz would hit into a ground out, second to first, scoring Shane Victorino, who has earlier singled, would move up to second on Pedro Feliz’s ground out, 6-3, and would go to third on Braves’ starter Jair Jurrjens’ wild pitch. The score would remain 2-0 for the next three innings as a pitchers’ duel developed between Jurrjens, who was able to slow down the Phillies’ offernse after the second inning and Phils’ starter  J.A. Happ, who would be almost unhitable to the Braves’ offense, who would only be able to get two hits and a walk off of him through the first five innings. Sadly, that would come to an end in the sixth, as, with a runner on first and one man out, Kelly Johnson, would tie up the ballgame at 2-2 as he would slug an 0-1 slider, that was high in the strike zone, into the right field seats, scoring Matin Prado, who has earlier walked. One inning later, the Braves would threaten to take the lead, as with one out, Brent Lillibridge would get on base with a single to left. Jurrjens would then move him over to second with a sacrifice bunt, for the inning’s second out. Charlie Manuel would then come out of the dugout and take out Happ and replace him with Rudy Seanez, to face pinch hitter Greg Norton, who was pinch hitting for the originally announced pinch hitter, Yunel Escobar, who in turned was to pinch hit for Josh Anderson. Seanez would proceed to intentionally walk Norton, putting runners on first and second. Seanez would then get the next batter, Prado, to hit into a force out, 6-4, putting out Norton at second, for the final out of the inning. The Braves would then try again in the eighth, as Johnson would lead off the inning with a double, and then would go to third on Victorino’s fielding error. Seanez would then get Omar Infante to line out to Rollins for the inning’s first out. The next batter, Jeff Francoeur, would then hit a fielder’s choice ground ball to Rollins, who would quickly throw home, cutting down Johnson, as Ruiz blocks the plate and tags him out, for the second out of the inning, while Francoeur would be safe on first. After Manuel takes out Seanez and replaces him with Scott Eyre, Eyre would get Casey Kotchman to fly out to left for the inning’s final out. The Phillies would then retake the lead in their half of the eighth, as pinch hitter Greg Dobbs would get a pinch single off of Braves’ reliever Jeff Bennett. After Dobbs is replaced at first base by pinch runner Greg Golson, the Braves would try to pick Golson off at first. It didn’t work as Bennett would commit a throwing error, as the ball would get past Braves’ first baseman Kotchman, which would allow Golson to go from first to third. After Rollins would ground out for the inning’s first out, Utley would be intentionally walked, bringing up Jayson Werth. Werth would hit a sharp grounder to Braves’ third baseman Prado, who would then throw home in an attempt to cut down Golson. It wouldn’t work, as Golson was off on the crack of the bat, beating Braves’ catcher Clint Sammons’ tag, and scoring the go ahead run as the Phillies took a 3-2 lead, while Utley would go on to second and Werth would reach first on the fielder’s choice. Bobby Cox would then come to the mound and replace Bennett with Will Ohman. After Howard flies out for the second out of the inning, Ohman would be replaced by Julian Tavarez to pitch to Pat Burrell. With the count going to 3-1, Burrell would hit a Tavarez’s fastball into the left field seats for a three-run home run, his thirty-third home run of the year, scoring both Utley and Werth, and giving the Phillies a 6-2 lead. After Victorino follows with a triple, Tavarez would finally end the inning by getting Feliz to fly out to left. The Phillies would then hand the ball over to Ryan Madson. After Madson gets pinch hitter Ruben Gotay to fly out for the inning’s first out, he would give up a pinch single to pinch hitter Chipper Jones. Pinch hitter Brian McCann would then follow him with a deep fly ball to left that would go out of the park, but would be declared a double by the third base umpire Chad Fairchild who would claim that the ball has landed under the yellow line, making it a double and not a home run. A later umpires’ conference would uphold Fairchild’s call, as does instant reply, thus leaving the Braves with runners on second and third with one out and not a two-run homer for McCann. Madson would then buckle down and get Gregor Blanco to fly out to left for the second out of the inning, and then get Prado to ground out, 4-3, to end the game and preserve the win.

J.A. Happ would get a no-decision as he pitches a strong six and two-thirds innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, striking out five while walking only two. Rudy Seanez would pitch a scoreless inning of relief, giving up only one hit and walking a batter. Scott Eyre would get the win as he pitches a third of an inning, giving up no runs and no hits. His record is now 5-0 (3-0 with the Phils) with an ERA of 4.30. Ryan Madson would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up only two hits. Jair Jurrjens would also get a no-decision as he pitches seven innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits and a walk. Jeff Bennett would get the lost as he pitches a third of an inning, giving up three earned runs on a hit and a walk. His record is now 3-7 with an ERA of 3.86. Will Ohman would also pitch a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Julian Tavarez would also go a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits.  

The Phillies would score two early runs, which J.A. Happ would hold onto brillantly until he gives up the two-run home run to Kelly Johnson in the sixth. The Phillies offense would then go back to work in the bottom of the eighth, scoring four unanswered runs, with the big blow being Pat Burrell’s three-run shot. The go ahead run that Greg Golson would score on the crack of the bat, would be his first run scored in a major league game. The bullpen would then come in and pitch two and a third innings of shut out ball, although Madson almost gave up a two-run home run to pinch hitter Brian McCann, except that the ball would drop into the seats below the yellow line under the railing in left, as confirmed later by instant replay. The Phillies are now on a roll, having won ten of their last eleven games, as they reached a season high twenty-one games over .500, the highest since their pennant winning year of 1993. The Phillies are now one game away from 90 wins, and need just one more game to guarantee a return to the playoffs.

The Phillies (89-68) will continue their series with the fourth place Braves (69-86) with a game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (14-9, 3.10), who is coming off a win against the Braves on September 18, as he went six innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 4-3 win. Hamel will be trying for his fifteenth win of the year while trying to secure the playoff spot for the Phillies with a good outing tonight. The Braves’ starter will be Mike Hampton (2-3, 5.05), who is coming off a lost to the Phillies on September 18, as he would go seven innings, giving up four runs, only two of which were earned, in the Braves’ 4-3 lost. This is his third start against the Phillies, sporting an 0-1 record, with a no-decision. He will be trying to hold off the Phillies running into the playoff for one more night.

The Phillies are now leading the Mets by two and a half games, thanks to the Mets lost to the Cubs. The magic number to win the National League East is now at four. In the Wild Card chase, the Mets’ lead over the Brewers is now at a game, as the Brewers were idle last night, while it is at three and a half games over Houston, who were also idle last night. The Phillies will be trying to win tonight’s game to guarantee a spot in the playoffs, while trying to see if they can get Cole Hamels his fifteenth win of the season.

Pedro Feliz’s bat and glove leads Phillies to an extra-inning walk-off victory over the Dodgers, 5-2. The Phillies are now half a game behind the Mets in the East.

Pedro Feliz’s bat would knock in four late innings runs, while his glove would help stop the Dodgers in the tenth as the Phillies win a walk-off victory against the Dodgers in extra-innings, 5-2. The Dodgers would get their first run of the game in the first, when, with the bases loaded, and one out, James Lanier would hit a RBI single, knocking in Andre Ethier, who has gotten on base with a five-balls walk  (Yes, five-balls. The home plate umpire, Jerry Layne, at some point in the count, thought it was 2-2, when it was in fact 3-2, before Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton finally walked Ethier), moved to second on Jeff Kent’s single and then went to third when Manny Ramirez was hit by the pitch, giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Blanton would finally get out of the inning by getting Nomar Garciaparra to fly out and Casey Blake to strike out. The game would then become a pitchers’ duel between Blanton and Dodgers’ starter Hiroki Kuroda, with Blanton giving up only four more hits and two more walks while striking out four Dodgers’ batters before being lifted after six innings of work, while Kuroda would keep the Phillies silent for four innings, giving up no hits at that point, while only four men would get on base (Error, two walks and a hit batsman). The Phillies would tie the game in the fifth as Chase Utley would hit a RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who has earlier singled, and then went to second on Blanton’s sacrifice bunt. The Dodgers would retake the lead in the seventh, when, with a runner on second, and two outs, Kent would hit a RBI single, scoring Ethier, who has earlier walked, and then got to second base on Ryan Madson’s wild pitch, giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. The Phillies would come back to tie it at two all in the ninth, when, with two men on, and two out, Pedro Feliz, who has come in as a defensive replacement for Greg Dobbs in the seventh during a double switch when Madson came in to replace J.C. Romero on the mound, would get a RBI single, scoring Shane Victorino, who has singled, and has gone to second on Eric Bruntlett’s sacrifice bunt. In the Dodgers’ tenth, they would try to regain the lead as they loaded the bases with two singles (Ramirez and Loney) and a walk (Mark Sweeney) with nobody out. The next batter, Blake, would then hit the ball to third. After catching the ball, Feliz would tag the bag for the first out, beating Loney to the bag, and then throw home to double up Ramirez, who would be tagged out by Chris Coste, for a 5-2 double play, as Sweeney would move up to second and Blake would be safe at first. Chad Durbin would then end the inning by getting Russell Martin to fly out to right. In the bottom of the eleventh, the Phillies would go to work against Dodgers’ reliever Joe Beimel, who was starting his second inning of work. Victorino would start off the inning with a double. After Joe Torre comes out to replace Beimel with Jason Johnson, Coste would get a walk, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. Jayson Werth would then hit a grounder to the right side, to second baseman Pablo Ozuna, who would throw to first for the inning’s first out, while Victorino and Werth would move up to third and second base respectively. Cole Hamels would then come up to pinch hit with the Dodgers’ infield and most of the outfield in to try and prevent the run from scoring. Hamels would sadly pop up the first pitch thrown at him, that would be caught by Ozuna for the second out of the inning. This would bring up Feliz. On the first pitch, Feliz would hit it deep to center field for a three-run home run, his thirteenth home run of the year, scoring Victornio and Coste, as he gives the Phillies an extra-inning walk-out win, 5-2.

Joe Blanton would get his third straight no-decision as he goes six innings, giving up only an earned run on six hits, three walks and a hit batter, while striking out four. J.C. Romero, would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on a hit and a walk. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning and a third, giving up no runs on two hits. Brad Lidge would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Chad Durbin would get the win as he pitches two scoreless innings, giving up three hits and a walk. His record is now 5-2 with a 1.98 ERA. Hiroki Kuroda would also get a no-decision as he also goes six innings, giving up an earned run on two hits as he struck out five. Chan Ho Park would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Hong-Chih Kuo would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Jonathan Broxton would pick up his fifth blown save of the year as he goes an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits. Joe Beimel would get the lost as he pitches one inning plus one batter, giving up an earned run on one hit and a walk. His record is now 4-1 with a ERA of 1.95. Jason Johnson pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up two earned runs on a hit and a walk.

After two straight games of getting ten hits, the offense would be limited to seven hits in the third game of the four games series with the Dodgers, but they would count the most when they came, as the bottom of the order would once again cause the damage as Shane Victorino would be involved in the rallies that would score the tying and winning runs, while Carlos Ruiz would score the Phillies’ first run and Pedro Feliz, coming in as a late innings’ replacement, would knock in the tying and winning runs as he batted in the ninth spot. The bottom part of the line-up have ended up being responsible for three of the last five Phillies’ win, and have done most of the scoring in their last lost. If the bottom half of the line-up continues to score runs after Victornio’s placement into the fifth hole, the Phillies should continue to be a team no longer to be taken lightly. Once the first five batters have decided to once again hit, this team should be tough to beat down the stretch. But, we probably won’t know which way the team will be going until after the end of the series with the Mets.

The Phillies (71-59) will end their four games series with the Dodgers (65-65, 2nd National League West) with a night game tonight, nationally televised on ESPN2, as they look for a sweep of the Bums. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (6-10, 4.71), who is coming off a nine hit shut out of the Nationals on August 20, in the Phillies’ 4-0 victory, his fifth straight quality start since his return from the minors. His only start against the Dodgers was a hard luck lost on August 14, where he went seven innings, giving up only three earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 3-1 lost. He will be trying for his four win since coming back from the minors and his sixth straight quality start. The Dodgers will counter with Chad Billingsley (12-9, 3.10), who is coming off a no-decision against the Rockies on August 20, where he went six innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, in the Dodgers’ 4-3 lost. He did not face the Phillies during the last series. He will be trying to stop the slide and thereby avoid the sweep.

The Phillies now trail the Mets by half a game as the Mets lost to the Astros last night. They are ahead of the Marlins by four and a half games as the fish defeated the D-backs last night. The Phillies will be trying to perform a sweep of the Dodgers, in revenge for the Dodgers’ sweep last week, while hoping that the Astros will defeat the Mets, putting them back into first place, before their two games series with the Mets, starting tomorrow night.

Phillies rally to score six runs in the ninth off of a Wagner-less Mets’ bullpen to beat the Mets, 8-6.

The Phillies rally to score six runs in the top of the ninth inning off of a Billy Wagner-less Mets’ bullpen while new Phil Joe Blanton is unable to contain the Mets in his first start as a Phil as the Phillies defeat the Mets, 8-6. The Phillies would take a quick lead in the first as Jayson Werth would hit a two out RBI single off of Mets’ starter Johan Santana, scoring Pat Burrell, who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. That would remain the score until the bottom of the third when Phillies’ starter Blanton would give up a RBI double to David Wright, knocking in Jose Reyes, who has earlier walked, to tie the game at one all. But Endy Chavez, who has singled earlier, would try to score on the play, but is instead thrown out at home plate, Burrell to Jimmy Rollins to Carlos Ruiz, who would put the tag on Chavez for the first out of the inning. Two batters later, with Wright still on second base, and with two outs, Carlos Delgado would hit his nineteenth home run of the year, a two-run shot that would give the Mets a 3-1 lead. In between the third and fourth innings, Charlie Manuel would be ejected from the game for arguing balls and strikes with the third base umpire as the Phillies believed that Delgado had struck out on an 0-2 pitch while the umpire claimed that he had checked his swing. The Mets would increase their lead in the sixth, when, with a runner on first, Marlon Anderson, via a walk, and with two outs, Ramon Castro would hit his fifth home run of the year, giving the Mets a 5-1 lead. In the meantime, Santana would keep the Phillies off the scoreboard, until the seventh, when Shane Victorino would hit his sixth home run of the year, a solo shot, that would cut the Mets’ lead to 5-2. The Mets would try to break the game wide open in their half of the seventh as Rudy Seanez replaces Blanton on the mound. Seanez would give up a lead-off double to Chavez. Chavez would then attempt to score on a single to right by Wright. But, for the second time in the game, he would be thrown out at the plate, this time from Werth to Coste, who tagged him out for the first out of the inning. On the throw home, Wright would move to second. Seanez would then intentionally walk Carlos Beltran, putting runners on first and second. The Phillies would then replace Seanez with J.C. Romero. Romero would get Delgado to fly out to center for the second out. But he would then hit Damion Easley to load the bases. Romero would then get out of the inning as he would get pinch hitter Fernando Tatis to line out to Chase Utley. In the ninth inning, the Mets would replace Santana with Duaner Sanchez, thinking that the game was over. The Phillies would soon make them think otherwise. Werth would greet Sanchez with a single. Pinch hitter Greg Dobbs would follow with a single, sending Werth to second. Victorino would follow with a single, loading the bases. The Mets would then replace Sanchez with Joe Smith, as they hope that Ruiz would hit into a rally-killing double play. Ruiz would hit a ground ball  to shortstop Reyes, but Reyes would somehow miss the second base bag as a hostling Victornio would reach second on the fielder’s choice ground ball. The bases thus remain loaded as Werth scores to make it a 5-3 game. The Phils would then send out Geoff Jenkins as a pinch hitter, but he would never reach the plate as the Mets would replace Smith with Pedro Feliciano, while the Phillies would counter with So Taguchi, who was so far 0-for-16 as a pinch hitter. Taguchi would this time connect as he would hit a two-run double, scoring both Dobbs and Victorino and sending Ruiz to third, as the game was now tied at five all. Rollins would then follow with a two-run double of his own, scoring both Ruiz and Taguchi, to give the Phillies a 7-5 Phillies. Utley would then ground out to first for the first out of the inning, moving Rollins over to third. Burrell is then intentionally walked, putting runners on the corners, and setting up the double play. Ryan Howard would hit a ground ball straight to Feliciano, who would then drop the ball, before picking it up and throwing out Howard, as Rollins scores to make it 8-5 Phillies, while Burrell would go to second. Aaron Heilman is then sent into the game to replace Feliciano. Heilman would walk Werth, the man who has started the inning off, putting runners on first and second, with two outs. Heliman would then get Dobbs to pop up to Reyes to end the inning. In the bottom of the ninth, the Phillies would send out their closer Brad Lidge to end the game. He starts the inning off by walking Chavez. Chavez would then go to second on defensive indifference. Lidge would then strike out Wright for the inning’s first out. Chavez would then go to third on a Lidge’s wild pitch before finally scoring on a ground out to first by Beltran, for the second out, making the score 8-6 Phillies. That would be the final score as Lidge would get Delgado to ground out, third to first for the final out, as he records his twenty-second straight save, tying the team’s record for most consecutive saves in a row set a few years earlier by Billy Wagner.

Joe Blanton would get a no-decision, as he pitches six innings in his first start as a Phil, giving up five earned runs on eight hits. Rudy Seanez would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on two hits. J.C. Romero would pitch two thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Chad Durbin would get the victory as he goes an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. His record is now 3-2 with an ERA of 1.78. Brad Lidge would record his twenty-second save, as he goes an inning, giving up an earned run on no hits. Johan Santana would also get a no-decision, going eight innings, giving up only two runs on eight scattered hits. The Mets bullpen would then take over and implode as the team’s closer, Billy Wagner, would be unavailable to pitch. Duaner Sanchez would face three batters, giving up three earned runs on three hits. Joe Smith would take the loss as he face only one batter, giving up an earned run on no hits. His record is now 1-2 with a 3.12 ERA. Pedro Feliciano would get his second blown save, as he goes two-thirds of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Aaron Heilman would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits.

The Phillies have won the game by doing something that they haven’t been able to do too much of since May, come back from behind in the ninth inning to win a game while trailing by several runs. Of course, they did it after the Mets have taken out their starter, Johan Santana, who for the third time this season has pitched a quality start against the Phillies. The Phillies would be able to produce a rally in the ninth inning, because of the use of small ball, hustling on the part of Shane Victorino on Carlos Ruiz’s ground ball, luck (Jose Reyes missing second base on Ruiz’s grounder, and Pedro Feliciano’s bobbling of Howard’s ground ball to him with the chance for an inning ending double play), some situational hitting by Chase Utley to move Jimmy Rollins over to third, and, lastly, So Taguchi finally getting a pinch hit when the Phillies needed it the most. Whether this will be the turning point of the season, or just a temporary blip on the radar screen will be found out during the next two games of the series.

The Phillies (54-46) will continue their three games series with the Mets (53-47) tomorrow night at Shea Stadium. The game will begin at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies starter will be Brett Myers (3-9, 5.84), who is coming back from a minor league stint to recover both his fast ball and his confidence. His last start was back on June 27 in a no-decision against the Rangers, where he would only pitch two innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 8-7 lost. The Phillies will be hoping that his stint in the minor league has actually brought back both his fast ball and his confidence. The Mets will send to the mound John Maine (8-7, 4.22), who is coming off a lost to the Reds on July 18, as he goes four and two-thirds innings, giving up five earned runs on five hits, in the Mets’ 5-2 lost. He will be going for his ninth win of the year while trying to help the Mets get over their previous night’s lost.

The Phillies, with their win, have regain sole control of first place, while they now lead both the Mets and the Marlins by one game and the Braves by seven, thanks to the Braves’ lost to the fish last night. The Phillies will now try to build momentum from their come from behind win as they attempt for either a series sweep or a series win before heading back home to meet the Braves at Citizens Bank Park for a three games weekend series.

Kendrick gets hurt by the long ball as the Phillies lose to the Marlins, 9-5.

Kyle Kendrick would be hurt by three long balls, while the Phillies would be unable to tie the game up in the ninth as they lose to the Marlins, 9-5. The Phillies would score the game’s first run in the second inning, while being unable to blow the game open early. The Phillies would start the inning off with Ryan Howard hitting a single to right. Pat Burrell would follow with a double to left, which would put Howard on third, as the Phils would now have runners on second and third with nobody out. The next batter, Jayson Werth, would then follow with a ground ball to third baseman Jorge Cantu, who would throw the ball to the plate, where John Baker would tag out Howard for the first out of the inning, while Burrell would move up to third and Werth would be safe on first on the fielder’s choice ground ball. Pedro Feliz would then hit a second ground ball to Cantu. Unlike the first one, Cantu would bobble the ball when he tried to throw it towards home plate, as the Phillies have already sent Werth on to second on the crack of the bat, preventing at least a force out at second, and forcing Cantu to try to throw to home. Instead, Burrell would score to make it 1-0 Philles as Cantu, after making his first error on the play, because of the bobble, would instead try to throw out Feliz. But, he would instead throw the ball away for his second error on the play, which would send Werth to third and Feliz to second. The next hitter, Chris Coste, would then hit the third straight ball to Cantu, who would send the ball home for the second out of the inning, as Werth is tagged out by Baker, while Feliz would commit a baserunning blunder by staying on second. Kyle Kendrick would then walk to load the bases. Jimmy Rollins would then come up, and hit the fourth grounder of the inning to Cantu, who would throw over to second base to force out Kendrick to end the inning. In the bottom half of the inning, Baker would hit a three-run home run off of Kendrick, his second home run of his career, scoring Mike Jacobs, who has earlier been hit by the pitch, and Cody Ross, who has earlier singled, to make it 3-1 Marlins. Later in the inning, with Hanley Ramirez on second, via a fielder’s choice ground out, and a stolen base, would try to score on Cantu’s single. Instead, Burrell would throw a strike to home plate for the final out of the inning, as Ramirez is tagged out by Coste. The Phillies would come back to tie the game in the fourth as Coste would hit a RBI double, scoring Feliz, who has earlier tripled, to make it 3-2 Marlins. One out later, Rollins would hit a RBI double, scoring Coste, and tying the game at three all. The Marlins would retake the lead as Baker hit a RBI single, scoring Ross, who has earlier tripled off of Werth’s glove, to give the Marlins a 4-3 lead. In the fifth, Burrell would tie the ballgame with his twenty-fourth home run of the year, a solo shot off of Marlins’ starter, Scott Olsen. The roof would then cave in on Kendrick in the bottom half of the fifth. Jeremy Hermida would start off the inning by hitting his eleventh home run of the year, to give the Marlins a 5-4 lead. Three batters later, with a runner on first and one out, Dan Uggla would hit his twenty-fourth home run of the year, a two-run shot that would score Josh Willingham, who has earlier singled, to make it 7-4 Marlins. The Marlins would increase their lead in the seventh, when, with the bases loaded, all via walks, and with two outs, Cantu would hit a two-run RBI single, scoring Baker and Ramirez, to give the Marlins a 9-4 lead. In the eighth, Burrell would hit his second solo home run of the game, his twenty-fifth home run of the year, to make it a 9-5 Marlins’ lead. Then in the ninth the Phillies would load the bases with one out, after a walk to Geoff Jenkins and singles by Shane Victorino and Chase Utley. But Marlins’ closer Kevin Gregg would then strike out Howard and get Burrell to ground out, short to second, to end the game.

Kyle Kendrick would take the lose as he has a bad outing, as he is only able to go four and a third innings, giving up seven earned runs on seven hits. His record is now 8-4 with a 4.87 ERA. Clay Condrey would pitch an inning and two-thirds in relief, giving up no runs on no hits. Rudy Seanez would pitch an inning, giving up two earned runs on one hit, while walking three. Ryan Madson would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Scott Olsen would get the win, as he pitches five innings, giving up four runs, three of which were earned, on eight hits. His record is now 6-4 with a 3.84 ERA. Matt Lindstrom and Renyel Pinto would both pitch a scoreless inning. Doug Waechter would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Kevin Gregg would pitch a scoreless ninth, giving up two hits and a walk, while striking out two.

As the Phillies wait for Joe Blanton’s first start as a Phil, Kyle Kendrick was once again hurt by left-handed hitters, although he would go after right-handed batters in this game, pitching them inside. Kendrick may need to have a long talk with Jamie Moyer to figure out what he will need to do to keep lefties from hurting him in future outings, since, according to a graphic that was shown during the ballgame, over 60 percent of the hits that he has so far given up in his short career has been to left handers. Although one of the two Fox Sports’ announcer would call him a number three pitcher, I see him as a number four pitcher until he can finally solve that problem. As for the Phillies’ starters, I see the team’s ace as Cole Hamels, I expect Blanton to become the number two starter, eating up the innings, Moyer as their number three starter, with Kendrick as number four. As for the number five starter, I’m sure Charlie Manuel and the silent idiots expect it to be Brett Myers once he comes back from the minors. Not me, folks. I’m hoping that management will soon come to their senses and bring back J.A. Happ from Lehigh Valley, so that he can help the team.

The Phillies (53-45) will conclude their three games series with the Marlins (51-46) tomorrow afternoon. The game will be played at Dolphin Stadium and will start at 1:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (9-6, 3.15), who is coming off a no-decision against the Diamondbacks on July 13, as he went seven innings, giving up only two earned runs on eleven hits, in the Phillies’ 6-3 win. In two previous meetings this year against the Marlins, he is 0-1, going thirteen and two-thirds innings, as he gives up nine earned runs on eleven hits. Lifetime, he is 2-3 against the fish in six starts, with a 4.78 ERA. He will be trying to get his tenth win of the year while trying to give the Phillies their third straight series win and their first series win of the second half. The Marlins will counter with Josh Johnson (0-0, 5.40), who is pitching in place of the injured Andrew Miller. He has so far pitched in only one game this year, a relief stint against the Dodgers on July 10, where he would pitch five innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits, in the Marlins’ 5-4 win. He will be trying for his first victory of the year, and trying to help the Marlins get their first series win of the second half.

With the lost, the Phillies are still leading the Mets by a games as the Mets lost to the Reds. The Marlins now trail the Phillies by a game and a half. The Braves still trail the Phillies by six and a half games, as they also lost their game. The Phillies will be trying for their third straight series win with their ace on the mound, while hoping to get ready for their three games series with the second place Mets.