After an explosive start, the Phils watch the game slip out of their hands, and see another pitcher go down, as they lose to the Rays, 10-4, their first road series lost in a while.
The Phillies took a quick lead in the first as, with two men on, and one out, Ryan Howard hits a two-run double, scoring Greg Dobbs, who had earlier singled and had gone to second on Chase Utley’s single, and Utley, who had just singled, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. Two batters later, with two men out, the Phils made it 3-0 as Matt Stairs followed with a double, knocking in Howard. It then became 4-0 Phils as Pedro Feliz hits an RBI single, scoring Stairs. The Rays would come back in their half of the first, as, with one man on and two outs, Carlos Pena hits an RBI double, knocking in Pat Burrell, who had earlier doubled, making it a 4-1 Phils’ lead. Ben Zobrist then made it a 4-3 Phils’ lead as he hits a two-run home run, his sixteenth home run of the season, scoring Pena. The Rays would tie the game up at four-all in the second, as Willy Aybar hits a lead-off home run, his sixth home run of the season. Four batters later, with runners on the corners, and one man out, the Rays took the lead as Carl Crawford hits an RBI double, scoring Gabe Kapler, who had earlier doubled and had gone to third on Dioner Navarro’s single, giving the Rays a 5-4 lead, while sending Navarro, who had just singled, over to third base. One batter later, Burrell would hit into an RBI ground out, 4-3, for the inning’s second out, scoring Navarro from third to make it 6-4 Rays, while sending Crawford on to third. In the fourth, the Rays tried to add to their lead, with two men on, Kapler and Crawford via walks, and two men out, as the Phillies took their starter Antonio Bastardo out of the game because of a strained left shoulder. The Phils replaced him with Chad Durbin, who then proceeded to end the threat by striking out Burrell. The Phils then threathen to score in the sixth, as they had runners on the corners, Stairs on third, after getting on base by being hit by the pitch, and then going to third on Feliz’s infield single and a throwing error by Rays’ shortstop Jason Bartlett, after originally being unable to handle the ball, with one man out, as Eric Bruntlett hits a fly ball to center field, which would’ve been deep enough to score Stairs, and make it a 6-5 Rays’ lead. But, in a baserunning blunder, Feliz had run up to second base, and was thus doubled up when Rays’ centerfielder B.J. Upton’s throw beat him back to first, 8-3, before Stairs could cross the plate, denying the Phils a run, and leaving the score at 6-4 Rays. The Rays then proceeded to bust the game open in their half of the sixth as, with the bases loaded via a Crawford double, later going to third on a Durbin wild pitch, and then walks to both Burrell and Zobrist, and two men out, Bartlett hits an RBI single, scoring Crawford, making it 7-4 Rays, while both Burrell and Zobrist moved up a base, leaving them loaded. Aybar then followed with a two-run single, scoring both Burrell and Zobrist, giving the Rays a 9-4 lead, and sending Bartlett to third, before Aybar is thrown out trying to go to second, 8-4, ending the inning. The Rays made it 10-4 in the seventh as, with runners on the corners and one man out, Crawford hits into a RBI force out, scoring Upton, who had earlier tripled, as Gabe Gross, who had earlier walked, was thrown out at second, 4-6, for the inning’s second out. That would end up being the final score, as the Phils’ offensive would be unable to mount any attack during the last two innings.
Antonio Bastardo took the lost, pitching only three and two-thirds innings because of an injury to his left shoulder, as he gave up six runs on seven hits and three walks, while striking out two. His record is now 2-3 with an ERA of 6.75. Chad Durbin pitched two innings of relief, giving up three runs on three hits and three walks, while striking out three. Tyler Walker pitched a third of an inning, giving up two hits. Jack Taschner pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a walk, while striking out one. Ryan Madson also pitched an inning, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out one. Andy Sonnanstine got the win, as he pitched five and one third innings, giving up four runs on six hits and a walk, and striking out seven. His record is now 6-7 with a 6.61 ERA. Grant Balfour pitched one and two-thirds innings, recording his ten hold of the year, as he give up a hit, while he struck out two. Randy Choate pitched an inning, striking out a batter. Dan Wheeler also pitched an inning, giving up a hit.
The Phils had eight hits in the game, with Greg Dobbs and Pedro Feliz both leading the team with two hits a piece. Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Matt Stairs and John Mayberry, Jr. had the other four hits, as the Phils got shut down after such a promising start in the first inning. Howard knocked in two of the Phils’ runs, while Stairs and Feliz both knocked in a run.
The Phillies (37-33, 1st National League East) will conclude Interleague Play this weekend with a three-games series against the Blue Jays (40-34, 3rd American League East). The game will start at 7:07 pm Eastern time, and will be played in Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Phils starter will be their ace Cole Hamels (4-3. 4.24), who is coming off a lost to the Orioles on June 21, as he went eight strong innings, giving up just two runs on nine hits, as he struck out ten, in the Phils’ 2-1 lost. In a previous start against the Blue Jays, on June 16, he pitched a no-decision, as he went six innings, also giving up just two runs, on seven hits and two walks, as he struck out two, in the Phils’ 8-3 lost. He will be trying for his fifth win of the year, while trying to start the series on a very positive note for the Phils. He will be opposed by Ricky Romero (4-3, 3.59), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on June 21, as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up only two runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out six, in the Blue Jays’ 9-4 win. In a previous start against the Phils, also on June 16, he also received a no-decision as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up three runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out nine, in the Blue Jays’ 8-3 win. He will also be looking for his fifth win of the season, while trying to continue the Phils’ Interleague Play woes.
The Phils’ bat waste a good effort by Joe Blanton, before watching the Rays bust the game wide open in the eighth inning, losing 7-1. The lost means that the Phils have now participated in another losing season of Interleague Play. GGGRRRR!!!!!
The Rays took the lead in the second as, with one man on, and one man out, Pat Burrell hits a two-run home run, his second home run of the season, scoring Carlos Pena, who had earlier singled, making it 2-0 Rays. The game would then become a pitchers’ duel between Phils’ starter Joe Blanton, who would end up giving up only six hits and two walks, as he struck out ten Rays in seven plus innings of work, and Rays’ starter Matt Garza, who was one hitting the Phils, striking out six batters (seven overall) by the seventh inning. In the seventh, the Phils cut the Rays lead to 2-1 as, with one man out, Jayson Werth hits a solo home run, his thirteenth home run of the season. The Rays would then break the game wide open in the bottom of the eighth inning. With the bases loaded, and two men out, Burrell hits a ball to Phils’ shortstop Jimmy Rollins which should had ended the inning, if he had thrown it over to first for the sure out. Instead, he threw over to second base, where it was beaten out by Ben Zobrist, who had earlier walked, allowing Carl Crawford, who had earlier singled, moved on to second when Pena was hit by the pitch, and then moved over to third on Zobrist’s walk, to score, while Pena, who had been hit by the pitch, and had moved up to second on Zobrist’s walk, to move to third, as the Rays increaded their lead to 3-1, as the bases remained loaded. The Rays would then make it a 5-1 game as Jason Bartlett hits a two-run single, knocking in both Pena and Zobrist, while sending Burrell, who had been safe at first on the fielder’s choice ground ball, to third base, putting runners on the corners. Gabe Gross then followed with a two-run double, scoring both Burrell and Bartlett, making it a 7-1 Rays’ lead. That would be the final score as the Phils went down in the ninth.
Joe Blanton took the lost in spite of pitching a very good game, as he went seven innings plus one batter, giving up only two runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out ten. His record is now 4-4, with an ERA of 5.06. J.C. Romero pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up three runs on one hit, a walk and a hit batter. Chan Ho Park pitched a third of an inning in relief, giving up a run on two hits. Matt Garza got the win as he pitched eight strong innings, giving up only a run on three hits, three walks and a hit batter, as he struck out seven. His record is now 5-5 with a 3.61 ERA. Randy Choate pitched a scoreless inning, giving up only a hit and a walk.
The Phils had only four hits in the game, with Jayson Werth leading the team with two hits, including a solo home run, accounting for the Phils only run, and one hit each by Matt Stairs and Greg Dobbs. The Phils’ batters were kept off-balanced for most of last night by Garza as they fail to support a good effort by Blanton,
The Phillies (37-32, 1st National League East) will conclude their interleague game series with the Rays (38-35, 4th American League East) tonight. The game will start at 7:08 pm Eastern and will be played at Tropicana Field. The Phils’ starter will be Rookie Antonio Bastardo (2-2, 5.21), who is coming off a lost against the Orioles on June 19, where he went seven innings, giving up four runs on five hits, as he struck out five, in the Phils’ 7-2 lost. He will be trying for his third win of the season, while trying to give the Phils the chance to win another road series. The Rays will counter with Andy Sonnanstine (5-7, 6.60), who is coming off a lost to the Mets on June 19, where he pitched six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Rays’ 5-3 lost. He will be trying to give the Rays a series win, while trying to improve his record. The Phillies will be trying for another road series win, only their second series win in Interleague Play.
The Phils continue to show themselves to be the best road team in the major league after posting six quick runs in the first as they coast to an easy 10-1 victory over the 2008 American League Champions Rays. In the process, the Phils stopped a six games losing streak.
The Phils took an early lead in the first as, with two men on, and nobody out, Chase Utley hits a two-run double, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier reached base on a two-base throwing error by Rays’ third baseman Evan Langoria, and Shane Victorino, who had just walked, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. It became 3-0 Phils as Ryan Howard hits an RBI double, scoring Utley. After Jayson Werth followed Howard with a single, sending him up to third base, putting runners on the corner, with still nobody out, and Pedro Feliz struck out swinging, for the Phils’ first out, John Mayberry made it 6-0 Phils with a three-run home run, his third home run of the season, scoring both Howard and Werth. The six-run outburst made things easier for Phils’ starter Jamie Moyer, who would proceed to have an easy game, giving up only five hits before finally being taken out of the game in the seventh. Before then, the Phils would add to their lead. In the top of the fourth, with two men on, and nobody out, Carlos Ruiz hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, for the Phils’ first out of the inning, while scoring Mayberry, who had reached first base on a missed catch error by Rays’ first baseman Carlos Pena, then moved up to second on Chris Coste’s single, before continuing on to third on Rays’ center field B.J. Upton’s fielding error, while Coste moved up to second, as the Phils increased their lead to 7-0. Two batters later, with Coste now on third with, two men out, thanks to a Rollins’ ground out, 4-3, Victorino would make it an 8-0 lead as he hits an RBI single, scoring Coste. Utley then gave the Phils a 10-0 lead as he hits a two-run home run, his sixteenth home run of the season, knocking in Victorino. The Rays would score a run in their half of the fourth as, with two men on, and two men out, Jason Bartlett hits an RBI single, knocking in Pena, who had earlier doubled, while sending Pat Burrell, who had earlier walked, over to second, making it a 10-1 Phils’ lead. But that would be all of the scoring that night, as the Rays’ bullpen stopped the Phils’ offense, while Tyler Walker and Sergio Escalona, recalled from the minors to take the place of Clay Condrey, who had been placed on the 15-day disabled list, took over for Moyer and threw three shut out innings at the Rays.
Jamie Moyer got the win as he pitched six strong innings, only giving up a run on five hits and three walks, while striking out four, recording career victory no. 251. His record is now 5-6 with an ERA of 5.97. Tyler Walker and Sergio Escalona combined for three shut out innings, giving up only three hits (Walker), while striking out one (Walker). David Price took the lost, as he got roughed up for all ten runs, only five of which were earned, on seven hits and two walks, while striking out only two, in four and a third innings of work. His record is now 1-2 with a 4.45 ERA. Winston Abreu and Lance Cormier then came in for four and two-thirds scoreless innings, giving up only three hits (Abreu (2), Cormier (1)) and a walk (Abreu), while striking out five batters between them (Abreu (3), Cormier (2)).
The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Chase Utley leading the way with three hits, including a double and a home run, knocking in four runs, as he raised his batting average to .303. He was followed by Shane Victorino, who had two hits, knocking in a run, as he raisied his average to .308. Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, John Mayberry Jr., Chris Coste and Carlos Ruiz had the other five Phillies’ hits, with Mayberry’s hit being a three-run home run, and Howard’s hit a one-run double. Besides Utley’s four RBIs, Mayberry’s three, and Victorino and Howard’s one RBI each, Ruiz knocked in the other RBI, as the Phils’ bats finally knocked in some runs, as they took advantage of some sloppy fielding by the Rays.
The Phillies (37-31, 1st National League East) continue their three-games Interleague Play series with the Rays (37-35, 4th American League East). The game will be played at Tropicana Field, at 7:08 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (4-3, 5.28), who is coming off his third straight no-decision, this one against the Blue Jays on June 18, as he pitched five and one-third innings, giving up four runs on nine hits and a walk, while he struck out two, in the Phils’ 8-7 lost. He will once again try for his fourth straight win and his fifth win of the season, while trying to eat up the innings to help give the bullpen a much needed rest. The Rays will counter with Matt Garza (4-5, 3.83), who is coming off a lost against the Rockies on June 18, as he pitched five innings, giving up four runs on five hits and two walks, as he struck out five, in the Blue Jays’ 4-3 lost. He will be trying to even up his record while hoping to avoid getting creamed by the Phils’ potent road warrior offense. The Phillies will be looking for another road win, while at the same time go back to increasing their lead over the Mets.
Joe Blanton pitched seven shut out innings, which was almost wasted in the ninth until Brad Lidge was able to come in and shut the door, redeeming himself for his two blown weekend saves as the Phils held on the defeat the pesky fish, 5-3.
The Phils took the lead in the first, as, with the bases loaded, via Jimmy Rollins reaching first on a Hanley Ramirez’s throwing error, a double by Shane Victorino, sending Rollins over to third base, and a walk to Chase Utley, and nobody out, Ryan Howard received an RBI walk, forcing in Rollins, giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead, while moving both Victorino and Utley up a base. One batter later, Raul Ibanez would make it 2-0 Phils as he hits a sacrifice fly, for the inning’s first out, scoring Victorino from third, while sending Utley on to third. After a wild pitch sends Howard to second, and Jayson Werth strikes out for the inning’s second out, Pedro Feliz hits a two outs RBI single, scoring Utley, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead, while sending Howard over to third base. The Phils would add to their lead in the sixth as, with a runner on first, and two men out, Victorino hits an RBI double, scoring Rollins, who had been safe at first on a force out, 5-4, as Phils’ starter Joe Blanton, who had reached base earlier on a walk, was out at second, but not before disrupting Marlins’ second baseman Dan Uggla’s throw to first base with a take-out slide, making it 4-0 Phils. In the seventh, after Joe Blanton had finished his strong effort by striking out his eleventh Marlin batter, the Phils added an insurance run, as with one man on and two men out, Feliz hits an RBI double, scoring Werth, who had earlier doubled. That would turn out to be important in the top of the ninth. With one man out, Chad Durbin walks Uggla, putting a man on first. Cody Ross follows with a single, putting runners on first and second, as Uggla moved up a base. Chris Coghlan then walks, loading the bases. Charlie Manuel then took out Durbin and brought in Scott Eyre to face pinch hitter Ross Gload. Gload hits a grounder to first, that was scooped up by Howard. The play should’ve ended the ballgame with a double play, 3-6-3, but instead, Howard threw the ball pass Rollins, thus allowing both Uggla and Ross to score, cutting the Phils’ lead down to 5-2, while sending Coghlan all the way to third, and Gload to second, with still one man out. Manuel then came back out and called for Brad Lidge. He then walks Emilio Bonifacio, reloading the bases. Lidge then got Jeremy Hermida to ground out, 3-1, for the inning’s second out, while Coghlan scored, making it a 5-3 Phils’ lead, while sending Gload to third and Bonifacio to second. Lidge then ended the game by striking out Wes Helms, recording his ninth save of the year.
Joe Blanton got the win as he pitched seven shut out innings, giving up only five hits and two walks, while striking out eleven batters. His record is now 3-3 with a 6.14 ERA. Ryan Madson pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out one. Chad Durbin pitched a third of an inning, giving up three runs, only one of which was earned, on one hit and two walks. Scott Eyre pitched to one batter, who got on base on an error. Brad Lidge picked up the save, his ninth of the season, as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up just a walk, while striking out one. Andrew Miller took the lost, pitching six innings, giving up four runs, only two of which were earned, on seven hits and four walks, while he struck out four. His record is now 1-2 with an ERA of 4.55. Christopher Leroux pitched two innings in relief, giving up a run on three hits.
The Phillies collected ten hits in the game. Shane Victorino got the most hits as he went four for five, including two doubles, as he knocked in a run, while also scoring one, raising his season average to .284. Pedro Feliz was next with two hits, while Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez, Jayson Werth and Carlos Ruiz had the other four hits. Ryan Howard and Ibanez both knocked in a run, while Feliz would knock in two, to go along with Victorino’s RBI.
The Phillies (25-19, 1st) will tonight conclude their three-games series with the Marlins (21-26, 4th). The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park, and will start at 7:05 pm. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (4-2, 4.34), who is coming off his best start of the season as he tamed the Yankees on May 22, pitching eight innings, giving up just three runs on eight hits, while striking out five, in the Phillies’ 7-3 win. He will be going for his fourth straight victory. The Marlins will counter with Burke Badenhop (2-2, 5.75), who is coming off a no-decision against the Rays on May 23, where he pitched an inning and a third in relief, giving up a run on three hits and a walk, in the Marlins’ 10-3 lost. He will be out there trying to tame the Phils’ bats. The Phils will be trying to win their fourth straight series, while preparing to meet the lowly Nationals on Friday. They still lead the Mets by half a game.
In the first of two games with the Tampa Bay Rays before Opening Night, the 2008 World Champions Phils defeated the 2008 American League Champs with a two-run ninth inning rally, winning the ballgame 3-2.
Joe Blanton started the game for the Phillies, pitching five strong innings, as he gave up just two runs on six hits while striking out three Rays. He was followed to the mound by Chad Durbin, Scott Eyre and Ryan Madson, who each pitched a scoreless frame, giving up just one hit between them (Eyre) and two walks (Durbin and Eyre with one walk each), while they together struck out two Rays (Durbin and Madson one apiece). Brad Lidge, who got the win, pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Lidge spring training record is now 1-0 with a 4.00 ERA. Looks like Blanton and the bullpen are all ready to start the season.
The Phillies’ bats got six hits last night. Jayson Werth led the team with two hits, raising his spring training average to .324. Jimmy Rollins, Jason Donald, Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz got the other four Phils’ hits. Raul Ibanez, Chris Coste and Donald had the Phils’ three RBIs, with Donald’s being a walk-off single in the ninth inning, knocking in Eric Bruntlett with the game winner.
The Phillies are presently playing their last spring training game, also with the Rays, this afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. They are presently trailing the Rays 4-0 in the bottom of the third inning.
In their final Grapefruit League game, the Phillies lose a wild shoot out with the Washington Nationals, 12-10.
Jamie Moyer started the game for the Phils and, in four innings of work, got torched by the Nats for nine runs on eleven hits, including two home runs to Ryan Zimmerman, a solo shot in the third and two-run home run in the fourth, and a two-run home run to Austin Kearns, also in the fourth inning, and two walks while striking out three. Not a typical Moyer game, but hopefully he now has it out of his system before he goes on to face the Atlanta Braves this upcoming Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park. Clay Condrey followed for two scoreless innings, giving up only a hit and a walk as he struck out one. Chad Durbin then pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits while striking out one. Jack Taschner took the lost as he pitched an inning, giving up two runs on two hits, a pair of solo home runs to Cristian Guzman and Alex Cintron, and two walks as he struck out one batter. Gary Majewski ended the game for the Phillies, pitching a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Taschner spring training record with the Phils is now 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA.
Among the batters, the Phils collected twelve hits. Pedro Feliz led the team with four hits, including a double and a solo home run in the second, as he knocked in three runs while scoring two. Ryan Howard and Matt Stairs both followed him with two hits apiece, with each man hitting a home run, with Howard’s being a two-run shot in the first, his tenth home run of the spring, while Stairs hit a three-run home run in the sixth. Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez, Eric Bruntlett and Carlos Ruiz had the other four Phillies’ hits, with Ruiz knocking in a run. Greg Dobbs had the Phils’ final RBI.
After the game, the Phillies took a chartered plane back home to Philadelphia, where they will play two spring training games at Citizens Bank Park against the 2008 American League Champions Tampa Bay Rays. The first of the two games is to be played tonight at 7:05 pm.
In other sports new, as the Villanova Wildcats prepare to meet the North Carolina Tar Heels in Detroit, Michigan, to get into the NCAA Championship Game, one of my three alma maters, the Penn State Nittany Lions Basketball Team yesterday defeated the Baylor Bears, 69-63, at Madison Square Garden in New York City, to win the 2009 NIT Tournament. To say that I’m right now a very happy puma (not lion as the Nittany Lion is actually a Mountain Lion or Puma) is an understatement.
The Phillies loses another close game in Spring Training, this time in spite of taking the lead with a five-run sixth inning, thanks to Blaine Neal being unable to hold off the Pirates in the ninth, as the Phils lose 6-5. Joe Blanton starts the game off for the Phils, going four and two-thirds innings, giving up only two runs on five hits and a balk while he struck out two. Robert Mosebach follows for an inning and a third, giving up a run on two hits and a walk. Ryan Madson and Scott Nestor follows with both men pitching an inning in relief, with each giving up a hit apiece as Madson strikes out three batters and Nestor two. Blaine Neal pitches an inning, losing the game as he gives up three runs on three hits, with the big blow being Jeff Salazar’s three-run home run, and a walk while striking out one. Blaine’s spring training record is now 0-2 with a 23.63 ERA, as he is also credited with a blown save. So far this spring, the Phils first four starters are pitching well, while both J.A. Happ and Chan Ho Park are both pitching well to claim the fifth and final spot in the rotation. If this keeps up, the starting rotation might become the strength of the Phillies arsenal this season like the bullpen was last season.
Among the batters, the Phils were quiet for most of the game, but had a five-run explosion in the sixth. The batters had nine hits, with Jason Donald leading the way with two hits, as he went 2 for 5 with a run scored, as he now has a .361 spring training batting average. Eric Bruntlett, Raul Ibanez, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, John Mayberry, Jr., Miguel Cairo and Carlos Ruiz got the other Phils hits. Howard got two more RBIs with a two-run blast, his fifth home run of the spring, while Ibanez, Cairo and Ruiz knock in the other three runs. Donald is impressing the brass with his batting, as is Mayberry. Also, Pedro Feliz was in the lineup, playing third base for several innings, although going 0 for 2.
The Phillies continue Grapefruit League play by facing the Houston Astros this afternoon, while the Astros will also be involved in a split squad game with the New York Mets.
In other Phillies news, it has been announced that Chase Utley might be ready to participate in some games next week, putting him on schedule for actually playing on Opening Night next month with the Atlanta Braves. If so, that would be very good news for the Phils. And ex-Phil and now Tampa Bay Ray, Pat Burrell, took out a pair of big ads which appeared in yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer, thanking the fans for their support during his nine seasons as a Phil. A real nice move by Pat the Bat.