The Phillies, behind Joe Blanton and the bullpen, would hold on in a heart stopper to defeat the Marlins, 3-2. The win and the Mets’ lost to the Braves would put the Phillies back into first place in the Eastern Division pennant race. The Phillies would take the lead in the third as, with two men on and one out, Chase Utley would hit a RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who has gotten on base earlier on Marlins’ third baseman Jorge Cantu’s throwing error, and would then go to second on Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton’s sacrifice bunt, who would in turn be safe on first on Marlins’ starter Anibal Sanchez’s own throwing error, giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead. The Marlins would then strike back in their half of the third, when, with two men on and one out, John Baker would hit a two-run double, scoring Alfredo Amezaga, who has earlier singled and would move on to second on Cameron Maybin’s single, and Maybin, who has singled, to give the Marlins a 2-1 lead. The Phillies would tie the game up in the fourth as, with one out, Shane Victorino would hit a solo home run, his fourteenth home run of the year. The Phillies would then retake the lead in the sixth, as with two men on and two out, Greg Dobbs would hit a bloop single to left, scoring Ryan Howard, who has gotten on base earlier with a walk, giving the Phillies a 3-2 lead, and sending Pat Burrell, who has also walked, to second. After throwing two balls to Ruiz, Sanchez would be taken out of the game because of cramps to his right leg. The Marlins’ relief pitcher, Logan Kensing, would then throw two balls to Ruiz, walking him and loading the bases, although the walk would be charged to Sanchez. Kensing would then be taken out for Mark Hendrickson, who would get pinch hitter Tadahito Iguchi, who was pinch hitting for the originally announced pinch hitter Geoff Jenkins, who was pinch hitting for Blanton, to fly out to end the inning. The Phillies bullpen would then spend the next four innings turning back the Marlins. Sixth: Chad Durbin would get the first two batters out but would then give up a walk to Josh Willingham. But with the count 2-1 on Cody Ross, Ruiz would pick Willingham off first base, with Howard applying the tag, to end the inning. Seventh: After getting out the first batter, Durbin would give up a single to Amegaza. Charlie Manuel would then come out of the dugout, and replace Durbin with J.C. Romero. Romero would then walk pinch hitter Paul Lo Duca, sending Amegaza to second. After Brett Carroll goes to first base to pinch run for Lo Duca, Romero would proceed to strike out Maybin for the inning’s second out, and then strike out Baker to end the inning. Eighth: With Ryan Madson on the mound, he would give up a single to Cantu and then a double to Mike Jacobs, putting runners on second and third, with no one out, thanks to Jayson Werth’s playing of the ball after it drops in. After Jacobs is replaced by pinch runner Robert Andino, Dan Uggla would hit a slow roller to third. After getting the ball, Phillies’ third baseman Greg Dobbs would throw home, cutting down Andino, who would be tagged out by Ruiz, although instant replay would show that he might have beaten the tag, for the inning’s first out, while Jacobs would stay at second as Uggla would reach first on the fielder’s choice. Willingham would then hit into a force out, 6-4, cutting down Uggla at second, while Jacobs would go on to third, putting runners on the corners with two out. Madson would then end the inning by striking out Ross. Ninth: The ball is then handed over to Phillies’ closer Brad Liddge. Lidge would start the inning off by walking the pesky Amegaza. He would then strike out pinch hitter Dallas McPherson swinging for the inning’s first out, while Amegaza would steal second on the third strike. Lidge would then strike out Maybin swinging for the inning’s second out before he finally ends the ball game by striking out Baker, also swinging, for his thirty-ninth save in thirty-nine tries.
Joe Blanton would get the win, his third win as a Phil, as he would pitch five innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits, while striking out nine. His record is now 8-12, 3-0 as a Phil, while his ERA is now 4.79. Chad Durbin would pitch one and a third innings, giving up no runs on one hit. J.C. Romero would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no hits while striking out two. Ryan Madson would pitch a scoreless inning, as he gives up two hits and strikes out one as he pitched his way out of a two on, no outs jam. Brad Lidge would pitch a scoreless ninth as he struck out the side swinging while also walking one, as he recorded his thirty-ninth save of the year. Anibal Sanchez would get the lost, as he goes five and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on four hits, as he struck out eight while also walking three. His record is now 2-5 with a 5.57 ERA. Logan Kensing would pitch to one batter, walking him, but having it charged to Sanchez, because of the 2-0 count thanks to Sanchez’s injury. Mark Hendrickson would pitch an inning and a third, giving up no runs on no hits. Kevin Gregg and Joe Nelson would both pitch a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit (Nelson) while striking out three batters between them (Gregg (2) and Nelson (1)).
Blanton would pitch five strong innings, being able to keep the fish off-balanced enough that they would only get four hits off of him while getting nine of the Marlins to strike out. The bullpen would then take over and pitch four shut out innings, refusing to give the Marlins’ batters that clutch hit, especially in the eighth inning, when they had runners on second and third with no outs, thus ending the Marlins’ winning streak at nine games, and bringing a little bit closer the ending of the Marlins’ hopes for a playoff berth.
The once again first place Phillies (87-68) will play the final game of their series with the third place Marlins (81-73) tomorrow afternoon. The game will be played at Dolphin Stadium and will start at 4:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be the Marlins’ nemesis Jamie Moyer (14-7, 3.86), who will be coming off a no-decision against the Braves on September 16, where he went five and two-thirds innings, giving up six earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 8-7 win. His last start against the Marlins on August 5 was a lost as he was only able to go five innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits in the Phillies’ 8-2 lost. Lifeteime, his record against the Marlins is 10-1. He will be trying to regain his dominance over the young Marlins’ batters while gunning for his fifteenth win of the year. The Marlins will counter with rookie Chris Volstad (5-3, 3.07), who is coming off a win against the Astros on September 16, where he went eight innings, giving up an earned run on four hits, in the Marlins’ 5-1 win. He has faced the Phillies twice already this year, being 1-0 with a no-decision, as he would pitch a combine total of nine innings, giving up an earned run on five hits. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to hurt the Phillies’ pennant chances.
The Phillies are once again leading the Mets by half a game as they lost to the Braves. Their lead over the Marlins is now back to five and a half games thanks to their win over the fish. In the Wild Card chase, the Mets lead the Brewers by two and a half games as the Brewers lost to the Reds. The Mets lead both the Marlins and the Astros by five games, as the Astros lost to the Pirates. The Phillies will be trying for a series win while also hoping to increase their lead over the Mets in the Eastern Division.
Brett Myers talked himself into pitching the eighth inning, and this time he was unable to get through the danger zone inning as the Phillies lose another game to the pesky Marlins, 7-3. The Phillies would take the lead in the second inning as Ryan Howard lead-off the inning hitting a solo home run, his forty-second home run of the year, giving the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead. The Marlins would take the lead in the third, as, with a man on first and one out, Luis Gonzalez would hit a two-run home run, knocking in Hanley Ramirez, who has earlier walked, to give the Marlins a 2-1 lead. The Marlins would add to their lead in the fourth, as, with a runner on third and two outs, Marlins’ starter Ricky Nolasco would help his own cause by hitting a RBI single, scoring Dallas McPherson, who has earlier doubled, and has gone to third on Alfredo Amezaga’s ground out to first for the inning’s second out, to make it 3-1 Marlins. The Phillies would come back in the fifth, as, with a runner on first and no one out, Chris Coste would hit a RBI double, scoring Greg Dobbs, who has earlier singled, to cut the Marlins’ lead to 3-2. Two outs later, Coste, after being moved to third by a Brett Myers’ sacrifice bunt, would score on a Jayson Werth single, tying the ballgame. Neither team would score in both the sixth and seventh innings, as Nolasco and Myers would take control of the game. Myers, although having already thrown 104 pitches by the start of the eighth inning, would talk Charlie Manuel into letting him start the inning. Manuel would give him the ball, obviously hoping that he could get the team through the presently nightmarish inning. Sadly, it was not to be as Gonzalez would start the inning off with a single. After Brett Carroll would come in to pitch run for Gonzalez, Myers would proceed to strike out Dan Uggla for the first out of the inning. Mike Jacobs would then follow with a single, sending Carroll to third. As the Marlins sent out Robert Andino to pinch run for Jacobs, Manuel would come out and replace Myers with Chad Durbin to try and put out the fire. Sadly, that didn’t work as Durbin would give up a ground rule double to Josh Willingham, scoring Carroll, making it a 4-3 Marlins’ lead, while sending Andino to third, because of fan’s interference with the ball, that didn’t seem to have occurred according to instant replay. Durbin would then intentionally walk McPherson to load the bases. That move would work as the next batter, Paul Lo Duca, would hit into a 5-4-3 double play, ending the inning. After the Phillies go 1-2-3 in their half of the eighth, the Marlins would break the game wide open in the ninth. Amezaga would start the inning off with a single. After Matt Treanor moves Amezaga to second with a sacrifice bunt for the inning’s first out, Durbin would intentionally walk Ramirez. After Durbin is replaced by J.C. Romero, he would get pinch hitter Cody Ross to fly out for the second out of the inning. But Romero would be unable to get out of the inning as Uggla would follow with a RBI double, scoring both Amezaga and Ramirez, giving the Marlins a 6-3 lead. Romero is then replaced by Clay Condrey. Wes Helm would greet Condrey with a single, scoring Uggla, making it a 7-3 Marlins’ lead. Condrey would finally end the disaster by getting Willingham to line out to left. Matt Lindstrom would then come in the pitch an easy 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth to end the game.
Brett Myers took the hard lost as he goes seven and a third innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits, while striking out nine. His record is now 9-11 with a 4.22 ERA. Chad Durbin would pitch an inning of relief, giving up two earned runs on two hits. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Clay Condrey would also pitch a third of an inning, giving up only a hit. Ricky Nolasco would get the win as he pitches seven and two-thirds innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits, while striking out eight. His record is now 14-7 with a 3.56 ERA. Arthur Rhodes would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Matt Lindstrom would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth.
Brett Myers gave it a good try, but he would simply run out of gas thanks to a high pitch count, while the offense would decide to quit hitting after tying up the game in the fifth inning, getting only one man on base, on a walk to Pat Burrell in the sixth, after Jayson Werth’s RBI single. Myers might not have been sent out to pitch the eighth if the Phillies’ bullpen has been doing well, but of late it has been having a hard time getting through the eight inning. Charlie Manuel’s decision to let Myers go back up out, even with his high count, could have been a good move if Myers had gotten through the inning quickly. Sadly, he would throw thirteen pitches to the three men that he would face in the inning, getting out only one of them. And, of the two that would get on, one would eventually score the game winning run. Meanwhile, the Phillies’ offense went back to it old trick of stopping everything after a certain point, in this case after they have scored the tying run. You folks already know what I think about the offense, so I won’t say much more about it other than this: AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Somebody please wake me up from this recurring nightmare!!!!!
The Phillies (79-67) will now start an important four games series with the Brewers (83-63, 2nd National League Central, 1st N.L. Wild Card). The first games of the series will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Jamie Moyer (13-7, 3.64), who is coming off a victory against the Mets on September 7, where he threw seven innings of shut out ball, giving up only two hits, in the Phillies’ 6-2 win. Moyer is coming off of just three days rest, something he hasn’t done in over two seasons with the Phillies, as the Phils hope that he will give them another quality start while putting them back on the winning track. The Brewers will start Ben Sheets (13-7, 2.82), who is coming off a victory against the Padres on September 6, as he pitched a complete game shut out, giving up only five hits, in the Brewers’ 1-0 win. He will be trying for his fourteenth win of the year while trying to put a nail into the coffin of the Phils’ chances to reach the playoffs.
The Phillies are now trailing the Mets by three and a half games in the East as they defeated the Nationals last night. The Mets have the day off today. The Marlins now trail the Phillies by five games as they also take the day off. In the wild card chase, the Phillies trail the Brewers by four games, as the two teams face off at Citizens Bank Park, while they are tied with the Astros for second place in the wild card race as the Astros defeated the Pirates yesterday, who they will be facing tonight, while the two teams are a half-game ahead of the Cardinals who lost to the Cubs last night, who they will be facing tonight. The Phillies will be doing whatever they can to get back into the Eastern Division pennant race, as well as putting as much pressure as they can on the Brew Crew in the wild card chase with sixteen games left in the season.
Brett Myers would pitch seven strong scoreless innings before being lifted in the eighth inning, while Utley would hit his first home run since July 7, as the Phillies defeated the luckless Nationals, 2-1. In the third, Utley would knock in the only Phillies’ runs of the game as he would hit his twenty-sixth home run of the year, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. They would turn out to be the only runs that the Phillies would need as Myers dominated the Nationals for seven scoreless innings, giving up only three hits in those seven innings, although he would hit two batters, both of whom would later be wiped out by double plays. Then in the eighth, the Nationals would score their first run in twenty-six innings, since Friday night. The inning would start with Paul Lo Duca getting on base with a single. Felipe Lopez would follow by hitting a sharp grounder to Utley, a double play ball that Utley would be unable to catch, committing an error, putting runners on first and second. Charlie Manuel would then come out and replace Myers with J.C. Romero. He would then get the first out as pinch hitter Ryan Langerhans move over both pinch runner Cristian Guzman, running for Lo Duca, and Lopez, to third and second, although Langerhans almost beat the throw to Utley at first. Willie Harris would then hit a RBI ground out, third to first, scoring Guzman, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 2-1, while Lopez would move over to third base on the throw. Romero would then be replaced by Chad Durbin, who would get Ronnie Belliard to ground out, second to first, for the final out of the inning. That would turn out to be the final score as Brad Lidge would come in to pitch the ninth and record his twenty-fifth save in twenty-five tries with a 1-2-3 inning.
Brett Myers would get the win, his first since May 30, by pitching a surprisingly strong seven innings plus two batters, giving up only an unearned run on four hits, with two hit batters, a walk and two strikeouts. His record is now 4-9 with a 5.46 ERA. J.C. Romero would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Chad Durbin would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Brad Lidge would record his twenty-fifth save of the year as he pitched a scoreless 1-2-3 inning. Collin Balester would get the lost as he gives up two earned runs on six hits, while striking out five. His record is now 1-3 with an ERA of 5.13. Garrett Mock, would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Charlie Manning and Joel Hanrahan would each pitch a scoreless inning, with both giving up a hit.
Brett Myers has done what very few people, including myself, were expecting him to do after coming back from his minor league stint, put together several scoreless innings, never mnd seven innings, as he used his pitches effectively, especially his fast ball. Of course, he did it against the woeful Nationals, who had not scored a run since last Friday. The next question is will he be able to continue his sudden effectiveness against his next opponent? We’ll find out in five-six days. Maybe having J.A. Happ now waiting in the wings have gotten Myers to put his head on straight. Maybe, maybe not. As I’d said, we’ll know soon.
The Phillies (57-49) three games series with the last place Nationals (38-68) continues tomorrow night at Nationals Park. The game will began at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Jamie Moyer (9-6, 3.76), who is coming off a no-decision against the Mets on July 24, as he pitched his ninth straight quality start, going seven inning, giving up only one earned runs on two hits, in the Phillies’ 2-1 lost. He will be trying once again for his tenth victory of the year while trying for his tenth straight quality start. Moyer has met the Nationals already twice this year, with a 1-0 record and a no-decision that the Phillies would win in extra-innings, as he would pitch nine and two-thirds innings, giving up six runs, three of which were earned, on sixteen hits. The Nationals will send to the mound Tim Redding (7-5, 3.98), who is coming off a lost against the Giants on July 24, where he went eight innings, giving up an earned run on seven hits, in the Nationals’ 1-0 lost. He has faced the Phillies already twice this year, with a 2-0 record, as he has kept the Phils scoreless in thirteen and a third innings on eight hits. He will be aiming for his third win against the Phillies, trying to keep them scoreless.
The Phillies still trail the Mets by half a games as they have defedted the Marlins. They now lead the Marlins by a game. The Braves are now seven and a half games behind the Phillies, as they’d lost to the Cardinals. The Phillies will be trying for their fourth straight win and their second straight series win of the second half, while trying to light up Tim Redding for the first time this year.