That fresh start will come with the Phillies, who completed their search for an experienced second lefty reliever by acquiring Eyre from the Cubs for Minor League right-hander Brian Schlitter on Thursday.
“I asked how their bullpen was, and if they were just looking for guys, and they said, ‘No, we think you can still pitch,'” said Eyre, who will join the Phillies on Friday. “I said, ‘Great, I’m ready to go.'”
The 36-year-old Eyre appeared in 19 games for the Cubs this season because of stints on the disabled list for left elbow inflammation and a strained left groin, and worked only 11 1/3 innings. He’ll work in a situational role in the middle innings, and replace either Les Walrond or J.A. Happ on the roster.
After nine scoreless innings in his first 14 outings this season, Eyre fell out of favor with Cubs manager Lou Piniella when he allowed nine runs in five appearances, spanning 2 1/3 innings. He was designated for assignment on Tuesday, giving the Cubs seven days to trade him or he would become a free agent. He packed up his family in his RV, parked outside of Chicago, and headed to his home in Bradenton, Fla.
Eyre will turn around and drive to Philadelphia from Valdosta, Ga., where the family had reached when informed of the deal. The Phillies will be his fifth team, after the White Sox, Blue Jays, Giants and Cubs.
The last time he was designated for assignment, on Aug. 5, 2002, the Giants claimed him. He posted a 1.59 ERA in 21 appearances with San Francisco, which reached the World Series that year.
The Phillies’ bullpen has thrown the third-fewest innings in the National League this season, a product of the starters tossing the fifth-most innings. Still, manager Charlie Manuel would like some relief for late-inning pitchers Brad Lidge, J.C. Romero, Ryan Madson and Chad Durbin.
Lefties batted .259 (7-for-27) against Eyre this season, and have hit .244 against him in his career. In his past five seasons, Eyre has appeared in 317 games, the fourth-highest total among Major League lefties. Romero tops that list at 336.
“He’s a guy with a lot of experience,” said assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. “We’ve been looking for a left-hander for a long time, and think this left-hander can help.”
The Phillies thought that, too, when they pursued him in the winter of 2006, before he signed with the Cubs.
“This is a veteran guy who has had a lot of success,” Amaro said. “He’s had success in the playoffs and he’ll rise to the challenge. He’s been through it, having those kind of experienced guys is helpful. We think he has enough bullets in that 36-year-old arm to help us.” Schlitter was 4-3 with six saves and a 2.22 ERA in 34 games for Class A Clearwater, with 58 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings this year. He was a 16th-round selection by the Phillies in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. (H/T Phillies.com)
Hold the phone. They went after him during the off-season, and didn’t get him? Why didn’t…oh that’s right, cheapskate owners. I keep forgetting that. Anyway, I hope he will be the left handed complement to Madson, as he and the rest of the ‘pen needs a break while Gordon and Seanez are still out. Now, who will go? My guess is Walrond, since J.A. Happ can still be used as insurance against either Blanton or Myers going bad, or maybe giving Hamels a possibily needed rest. As I’d said earlier, time will tell.
The Phillies have completed their sweep of the last place Nationals as Kyle Kendrick goes six and two-thirds innings to record his ninth win of the year as the Phillies defeated the Nats, 8-4. The Phillies would take the lead in the second inning as Jayson Werth hits a solo home run, his fifteenth home run of the year, to give the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead. Four batters later, with runners on second and third, and one out, Jimmy Rollins would hit a RBI ground ball, third to first, scoring Eric Bruntlett, who has gotten on base earlier with a single, making it 2-0 Phillies. The next batter, Shane Victorino, would also hit a ground ball to the third baseman, but Ryan Zimmerman would this time throw the ball away trying to get the out at first, allowing Carlos Ruiz, who has earlier singled, to score on the throwing error, giving the Phillies a 3-0 lead, and allowing Victorino to reach second base. In the bottom of the second, Kory Casto would score the Nationals’ first run on a Kyle Kendrick wild pitch, after getting on base with a double, and going to third on a ground out, short to first, to make it a 3-1 Phillies’ lead. The Nationals would make it a 3-2 Phils’ lead as Jesus Flores would hit a RBI single, knocking in Zimmerman, who has reached base earlier after being hit by a pitched ball. The Phillies would increase their lead in the fourth to 5-2 as Rollins would hit a two-run home run, his ninth home run of the year, scoring Kendrick, who has earlier reached first base on catcher Jesus Flores’ throwing error to first after Kendrick has struck out on a pitch that Flores has to block in the dirt. Then in the sixth, with a runner on second, and two outs, Victorino would get a single on a hard grounder to the third baseman, reaching first safely on Ronnie Belliard’s throwing error, while Rollins, who has doubled earlier, would score on the error, to make it 6-2 Phillies. Ryan Howard would two batters later get a RBI single, scoring Victorino, giving the Phillies a 7-2 lead. Pat Burrell would follow with a RBI single, scoring Chase Utley, who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies an 8-2 lead. In the ninth, with Rudy Seanez on the mound, the Nationals tried to create a very late rally. Pete Orr would start the inning off with a single. Pinch hitter Felipe Lopez would follow with a double, putting Orr on third. Willie Harris would then hit a RBI ground ball to first base for the inning’s first out, scoring Orr, while moving Lopez to third, making it an 8-3 Phillies’ lead. Lasting Milledge would then hit a slow ball towards first, that Seanez would grab before he tags out Milledge for the second out of the inning, while Lopez scores, giving the Phillies an 8-4 lead. After a walk to Ryan Langerhans, Charlie Manuel would come out and replace Seanez with Chad Durbin. Durbin would then end the game by getting Austin Kearns to fly out to left.
Kyle Kendrick would get the win, as he pitches six and two-thirds innings of strong ball, giving up only two earned runs on seven hits. His record is now 9-5 with a 4.59 ERA. Clay Condrey would pitch an inning and a third of shut out ball, giving up no hits. Rudy Seanez would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Chad Durbin would pitch to only one batter, getting him to fly out. John Lannan would get the lost, lasting five and two-thirds innings, giving up eight runs, six of which were earned, on nine hits. His record would fall to 6-11 with a ERA of 3.61. Chris Manning would pitch to one batter, giving up a hit. Garrett Mock would pitch an inning and a third, giving up a hit and no runs. Jesus Colome would go two innings, giving up no runs on no hits.
The Phillies have completed their first sweep of the second half, while winning their fifth straight game. This is the fourth game during their winning streak that the Phillies’ offense have knocked in eight runs or more, while getting three extra-bases hits (1 (2B), 2 (HR)). This is also the first time in a while that the Phillies have been ten games over .500 since Interleague play. The Phillies would end July with a 15-10 record. The Phillies hope that their rejuvenated offense will continue in St. Louis, the city where their dangerous offense would begin to disappear back in mid-June.
The Phillies (59-49) will now go on to St. Louis to play the Cardinals (61-50, 2nd-T National League Central) in a three games weekend series. The first game of the series will be played in the new Busch Stadium and will start at 8:15 pm Eastern (7:15 pm Central). The Phillies’ starter will be their ace Cole Hamels (9-6, 3.27), who is coming off a bad outing against the Braves on July 26, where he would get a no-decision as he would only last three and two-thirds innings, giving up nine runs, only four of which would be earned, in the Phillies’ 10-9 win. He has already faced the Cardinals once before this year on July 8, losing that game as he went seven innings, giving up just two earned runs on three hits, in the Phillies’ 2-0 lost. He will for his fifth straight start try for his tenth win of the year, while trying to increase the Phillies’ present winning streak to six games. The Cardinals will counter with Kyle Lohse (12-3, 3.68), who is coming off a lost against the Mets on July 27, pitching five innings as he gave up seven earned runs on eleven hits, in the Cardinals’ 9-1 lost. He has already faced the Phils once before back on June 14, winning the game as he goes eight innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits, in the Cardinals’ 3-2 win. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to silence the Phillies’ bats.
With the win, the Phillies’ lead over the Mets is now a game, as the Mets gets ready to play the Astros for a three games series in Houston. The Phillies’ lead over the Marlins is now at one and a half games, as they continue their four games series with the Rockies. Their lead over the Braves stay at nine games, as they start a three games series with the Brew Crew. The Phillies will be trying to increase their lead in the East while increasing their winning streak to six wins in a row.
The Phillies would use a combination of the long ball and situational hitting to come from behind again to defeat the Braves as they win their first series of the second half, 12-10. It didn’t look that way at the start as the Braves would score two runs in the top of the first off of Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton. With two men on and one out, Brian McCann would hit a RBI single, scoring Yunel Escobar, who has earlier singled, making it 1-0 Braves. Mark Kotsay would follow with a RBI double, scoring Mark Teixeira, who has earlier walked, to give the Braves a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the second, with Eric Bruntlett batting, the rain would come down, delaying the game for over two hours. The long rain delay would force the removal of both teams’ starters, Blanton and Jorge Campillo. The Braves would increase their lead in the top of the fourth off of Adam Eaton. With a runner on second and one out, Eaton would give up a two-run home run to Kelly Johnson, his ninth home run of the year, scoring Kotsay, who has earlier singled, to make it 4-0 Braves. Omar Infante would follow with a solo shot, his second home run of the year, to give the Braves a 5-0 lead. The Phillies would then come back in their half of the fourth. With two men out, and a runner on first, Chris Coste would hit a two-run home run, his eighth home run of the year, scoring Jayson Werth, who has earlier walked, cutting the Braves’ lead to 5-2. The next batter, pinch hitter So Taguchi would then get on base with a pinch single. Jimmy Rollins would follow by working a walk. Shane Victorino would then hit a three-run home run, his eighth home run of the year, scoring Taguchi and Rollins, tying the game at five all. In the fifth, the Phillies will take the lead as Pat Burrell would hit a solo home run, his twenty-sixth home run of the year, making it 6-5 Phillies. The Phils would then break the game wide open in the sixth. With Royce Ring now on the mound, he would be greeted by pinch hitter Carlos Ruiz with a pinch double. Ruiz would then go to third on a single by Rollins. Victorino would follow with a RBI single, scoring Ruiz, and sending Rollins to second to make the score 7-5 Phillies. Chase Utley would then strike out, making the first out of the inning. With Ryan Howard at the plate, Rollins and Victorino would perform a double steal, with Victorino just beating McCann’s throw from behind home plate. Howard would then hit a RBI single with the infield pulled in, scoring Rollins easily, and then scoring Victorino, as he knocks over McCann, as McCann tries to catch left fielder Jeff Francoeur’s throw from left on one hop, and then tries to turn around quickly to tag out Victorino, making it 9-5 Phillies. McCann would then lay on the ground for the next several minutes, with Victorino and Rollins, among others, looking to see if he was alright, before he is finally taken out of the game, and replaced by Corky Miller. Meanwhile, Royce is replaced on the mound by Blaine Boyer. Burrell would then fly out for the second out of the inning. Werth would then follow with a two-run home run, his fourteenth home run, to give the Phillies an 11-5 lead. Bruntlett would then end the inning by flying out. In the seventh, Rollins would increase the Phillies’ lead by hitting a solo home run, his seventh home run of the year, to give the Phils a 12-5 lead. The Braves would then make it close in the eighth. With Rudy Seanez on the mound, Kotsay would start the inning off with a single. After Francoeur pops up for the first out of the inning, Johnson would get on base with a walk, sending Kotsay to second. Infante would follow with a RBI double, scoring Kotsay and sending Johnson to third, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 12-6. Greg Norton would then load the bases as Seanez commits an error on his ground ball. Ryan Madson is then brought in to relieve Seanez. Gregor Blanco would then walk, scoring Johnson, while leaving the bases loaded as the Phillies now lead 12-7. Escobar would then pop out to Bruntlett in foul territory for the second out of the inning. Pinch hitter Martin Prado would then hit a double that a diving Werth would be unable to catch, scoring Infante, Norton and Blanco after it gets past Werth, making it a 12-10 Phillies’ lead. Madson would finally end the inning by getting Miller to ground out, third to first. In the ninth, Brad Lidge would proceed to nail down his twenty-fourth save of the year to finally end the ballgame.
Joe Blanton would get a no-decision thanks to the rain delay, as he pitches two innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits. Adam Eaton would also pitch two innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits. Clay Condrey would get the win as he pitches two innings, giving up no runs on one hit. His record is now 3-2 with a 3.72 ERA. J.C. Romero would go an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Rudy Seanez would go one-third of an inning, giving up four earned runs on two hits. Ryan Madson would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Brad Lidge would pitch an inning, as he records his twenty-fourth save of the year, giving up no runs on no hits. Jorge Campillo would also pitch a no-decision because of the rain delay, going one and two-thirds innings, giving up no runs on two hits. Jo-Jo Reyes would go two and two-thirds innings, giving up five earned runs on four hits. Julian Tavarez would take the lost as he goes two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. His record is now 0-3 with a 6.48 ERA.Royce Ring would pitch a third of an inning, giving up four earned runs on four hits. Blaine Boyer would pitch two-thirds of an innings, giving up a run on one hit. Buddy Carlyle would pitch an inning, giving up one run on one hit. Will Ohman would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits.
The Phillies (56-49) have finally won their first series of the second half as well as the short home stand, while also starting a two game winning streak. For the second straight game the Phillies’ offense would score ten or more runs, this time with them doing it with a combination of the long ball and situational hitting. Does this mean that the offense is back? I’m going to wait until after the next several series before saying yes or no. The next Phillies’ game will be played on Tuesday as they meet the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park.
With the win, the Phillies continue to trail the Mets by a game, as they won their game against the Cardinals. The Marlins would drop to third place, a game behind the Phillies, as they lost to the Cubs. The Braves now trail the Phillies by six and a half games. As the Phillies take the day off before starting their series with the Nationals in D.C., the Mets go to Miami to start a three games series with the Marlins, while the Braves prepare for a four games series with the Cardinals.
The Phillies used situational baseball to come from behind to defeat the Braves after it looked like they had finally imploded in the top of the fourth inning. The Phillies would score the game’s first runs in the second inning. Ryan Howard would start the inning off by getting on first base with a walk. He would be followed by a double from Pat Burrell, which would put runners on second and third with nobody out. Jayson Werth would then follow with a ground out, third to first, for the first out of the inning, doing what the Phillies’ batters have been doing too much of lately, hitting a ball to an opposing player with less than two outs, unable to score the runner(s) on base. Eric Bruntlett is then intentionally walked to load the bases. Chris Coste would follow him with a two-run double, scoring Howard and Burrell, making it 2-0 Phillies, while sending Bruntlett to second. Cole Hamels would then bunt the runners over to third and second base respectively, while making the second out of the inning. Unfortunately, Jimmy Rollins would then end the inning with a ground ball to the pitcher. The Phillies would increase their lead in the third, as Chase Utley would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Shane Victorino, who has earlier tripled, to make it 3-0 Phillies. But then the roof would appear to fall in on the Phillies and Cole Hamels in the fourth. The inning would begin with Hamels giving up a walk to Yunel Escobar. Mark Teixeira would follow with a single, sending Escobar to second. Hamels would then walk Brian McCann to load the bases with Braves. The next batter, Omar Infante, would then hit a two-run RBI double into left field, scoring both Escobar and Teixeira, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 3-2, while sending McCann to third. Jeff Francoeur would then hit a sacrifice fly for the first out of the inning, sending home McCann with the tying run, while Infante stayed at second. Martin Prado would then hit a grounder to second that was stopped by Utley. But instead of getting back up, picking up the ball and throwing out Prado, Utley would look at Prado and tried to pick up the ball at the same time, and dropped the ball, committing the first error of the inning, and leaving runners on the corners as Infante moved up to third. The next batter, Mark Kotsay would then hit a RBI single, scoring Infante and sending Prado to second, giving the Braves a 4-3 lead. Mike Hampton then followed with a ground ball right to Hamels. Instead of taking his time and throwing the ball straight to Rollins at second base to start a 1-6-3 double play to end the inning, he would throw the ball away as he throws it to where Rollins had originally started out, allowing Prado to score, Kotsay to reach third, and Hampton to be safe at first, on the second error of the inning, making it 5-3 Braves. Gregor Blanco would then follow with a single, scoring Kotsay and sending Hampton to second, as the Braves increased their lead to 6-3. Escobar, who has originally started the inning, would come up for the second time, but this time he would fly out to right for the second out of the inning. Teixeira would then come up for the second time and cap off the disastrous inning by hitting a three-run home run off of Hamels, his twentieth home run of the year, giving the Braves a 9-3 lead, and what looks to be the final knockout blow to the Phillies’ season. Charlie Manuel would after that finally come out and take a very snake bitten Hamels out of the game, replacing him with Rudy Seanez. Seanez would then end the inning with one pitch as he gets McCann to pop up to Utley, although that almost became a disaster in itself as the ball almost got away from him as it came back down. After Adam Eaton have come into his first game since being sent down to the bullpen after the Joe Blanton trade and put down the Braves in the top of the fifth, the Phillies’ batter would go after Braves’ starter Mike Hampton as they used something that they have not done for a while, playing situational baseball. Rollins would start the inning off with a single. Victorino would then hit a grounder towards deep shortstop that would be picked up by Braves’ shortstop Escobar, who would end up having no play, thus becoming an infield single as Rollins’ speed would allow him to get to second. Utley would then follow them with a single that would load the bases with Phillies. Hampton would then be taken out of the game at this point, replaced by Royce Ring. Howard would greet Ring with a two-run RBI single, scoring both Rollins and Victorino, cutting the Braves’ lead to 9-5, while sending Utley to third. Bobby Cox would then come out for the second time in the inning, and replace Ring with Blaine Boyer. Burrell would then hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Utley, making it 9-6 Braves. Werth would follow with a single, sending Howard to second. Bruntlett would then hit a deep fly ball to center, but Howard would stay at second, instead of going to third. It at first look like a base running blunder, but the next batter, Coste would hit a RBI single in the hole between first and second, allowing Howard to score, making it now a 9-7 Braves’ lead. Greg Dobbs would then come up to pinch hit for Eaton. On a 1-2 pitch, he would crush the ball into the second deck in right field for a three-run home run, his third home run of the year, and his team record tying twentieth pinch hit of the season, scoring both Werth and Coste, giving the Phillies a 10-9 lead. Rollins would then come up for the second time and tried to bunt himself back on. He would instead be thrown out by Boyer. The Phillies would then hold on, as Ryan Madson, Chad Durbin and J.C. Romero would combine for three shut out innings in which they would keep the Braves at bay, before the ball is finally handed over to Brad Lidge in the ninth, who would redeem himself for his previous night’s implosion by getting the Braves to go 1-2-3 for his twenty-third straight save without blowing it, breaking the team record that was originally set by Billy Wagner.
Cole Hamels would get a no-decision as he pitches three and two-thirds innings, giving up nine runs, four of which were earned, on six hits and three walks, two of whom would later score. Rudy Seanez would pitch a third of an inning, getting one man out on one pitch. Adam Eaton would get the win, as he pitched one inning, giving up no runs on one hits. Eaton’s record is now 4-8 with a 5.66 ERA. Ryan Madson, Chad Durbin and J.C. Romero would each pitch a scoreless inning, although Durbin would also pitch to one batter in the eighth, giving up only two hits (Durbin), while walking four. Brad Lidge would get a 1-2-3 inning, recording his twenty-third straight save without blowing one. Mike Hampton would also get a no-decision as he pitches four innings plus three batters, giving up six earned runs on six hits. Royce Ring would only pitch to one batter, giving up a single. Blaine Boyer would get the lost as he pitches an inning, giving up three earned runs on three hits. His record is now 2-6 with a 4.18 ERA. Will Ohman, Rafael Soriano and Julian Tavarez would each pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits to the Phillies.
I don’t know which one I am more shocked by, the implosion in the fourth inning, or the comeback in the fifth, using situational hitting. Seeing the Phillies collapse the way they did in the top of the fourth seems to show the way the Phillies have been screwing up so far this season, especially with Hamels throwing away the double play ground ball because he have been feeling frustrated up to that point in the inning, when he needed to just take his time and throw to Rollins at second for the second out of the inning, to lead to the end of the inning with a double play, and then to follow that up a few batters later by throwing up a home run pitch to Mark Teixeira in what, to me at least, seems to be the final collapse of the Phillies’ season. But then, to watch the team come back the way they did in the fifth inning, and doing it by using some situational hitting, something that they finally seems to be able to do, appear to show that the team isn’t dead yet. But, I’m going to wait to see if they can continue doing this for a while before thinking that the run machine is finally back and is now running once again on all cylinders.
The Phillies (55-49) will finish their three games weekend series with the Braves (49-54) this afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 1:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Joe Blanton (5-12, 5.00), who is coming off a so-so start against the Mets on July 22, where he would go six innings, giving up five earned runs on eight hits, in the Phillies’ dramatic come from behind 8-6 win. This will be his first ever start against the Braves as he try to continue adjusting to pitching to National League batters while trying to help the Phillies get their first series win of the second half. The Braves will counter with Jorge Campillo (5-4, 2.83), who is coming off a win against the Marlins, where he went seven innings, giving up no earned runs on two hits. He has pitched four time against the Phillies, twice in relief and twice as a starter, being 0-1 with a no-decision against them as a starter, and 0-0 as a reliever, pitching a combine total of thirteen and two-thirds innings, giving up eight earned runs on twenty-one hits. He will be trying to do better than he did in his last start against them, while trying to help the Braves will the series.
The Phillies stayed tied with the Marlins in second place, both now traling the Mets by a game, as the Mets have lost their game with the Cardinals in extra-innings. The Braves still trail the two second place teams by five and a half games. The Phillies will be trying for their first series win of the second half.
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.
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.
The old Adam Eaton of late ’07 might have returned as the Phillies have lost to the Diamondbacks, 10-4. The D-backs would score first as Chad Tracy would hit a RBI single, knocking in Stephen Drew, who has earlier singled, giving the D-backs a 1-0 lead. Mark Reynolds then hit into a force out, third to second, scoring Conor Jackson, who has earlier singled, to make it 2-0 Arizona. The Phillies would tie it in the third as Shane Victorino hit his fourth home run of the year, a two-run shot off of D-backs’ starter, Randy Johnson, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who has earlier walked. But then the old Adam Eaton would reappear in the top of the fourth. After easily getting out the first two batters, Eaton would give up a single to Alex Romero. Robby Hammock would follow with a walk, moving Romero to second. Johnson would then come to the plate, and after getting the count to go to 3-2, after trailing 1-2, would hit a two-run double to left, scoring both Romero and Hammock, giving the Diamondbacks a 4-2 lead. Drew then walks. Jackson would then follow with his own double to left, scoring Johnson to make it 5-2 D-backs, while moving Drew to third. Eaton then intentionally walked Orlando Hudson to load the bases. He would also be the last batter he would face, as Charlie Manuel replaces him with R.J. Swindle. Swindle is greeted by a single from Tracy, scoring both Drew and Jackson, making it 7-2 D-backs, while sending Hudson to third. The next batter, Reynolds, who has started the inning, then hit a three-run home run off of Swindle, his nineteenth home run of the year, to give the D-backs a commanding 10-2 lead. After giving up a single to Chris Young, Swindle would finally end the inning by getting Romero to fly out. In the fifth, the Phillies would shorten the lead as Swindle gets his first career RBI by grounding out to the right side of the infield, second to first, scoring Eric Bruntlett, who has earlier doubled, and has gone to third on a Ruiz ground out, making it 10-3, D-backs. Victorino then follows with his fifth home run of the year, a solo shot, also off of Johnson, making it 10-4 D-backs. And that would be the game as both team would not be able to score any more runs, with the game ending in a D-backs’ victory as Micah Owings would get the Phillies to go down 1-2-3 in the ninth.
Adam Eaton took the lost, as it appears that the Eaton of late ’07 has returned. He would only go three and two-thirds innings, giving up eight earned runs on seven hits. His record is now 3-8 with an ERA of 5.71. R.J. Swindle pitches one and two-thirds innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits. Rudy Seanez would go two and two-thirds innings, giving up no runs on one hits. Clay Condrey would pitch a scoreless, hitless inning. Randy Johnson would get the win as he goes six innings, giving up four earned runs on five hits. His record is now 6-7 with a 5.23 ERA. Leo Rosales would pitch a scoreless, hitless inning while Micah Owings would pitch two shut out innings.
The Phillies’ offense was for the most part unable to handle Randy Johnson, as usual, while Adam Eaton got nailed in the fourth inning, after the Phillies were able to tie the score in the third inning. It seems that with the last two starts that the Adam Eaton who was pitching in the last few months of ’07 has returned, especially as Eaton allowed himself to not get out of the inning after giving up a hit to Alex Romero, instead of just going after the following batter. Giving up the double to Randy Johnson, after getting ahead made it worst as he appear to fool around with Johnson before he threw the pitch that Johnson drilled to left for a double, knocking in two runs. If the late ’07 Eaton has returned, the Phillies are going to be in a lot of trouble while he’s on the mound. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m starting to think that someone needs to nip this in the bud before that happens.
The Phillies (51-44) will play the final game of their three games set with the Diamondbacks (47-47, 1st National League West) tomorrow afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.The game will start at 1:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (9-6, 3.18), who is coming off a lost against the Cardinals on July 8, where he would go seven innings, giving up only two earned runs on only three hits, in the Phillies’ 2-0 lost. He will for the second time be trying to get his tenth win of the year, while also trying to end the first half for the Phillies on a winning note. He will be countered by Brandon Webb (13-4, 3.27), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on July 8, where he went six innings, giving up no runs on six hits, in the D-backs’ 2-0 victory. This will be his second start against the Phils, having defeated them in his previous start on May 8, having gone all nine innings, giving up three runs, two of which were earned, on six hits, in the D-backs’ 8-3 win. He will be trying to increase his major leaague lead in wins, while trying to end the Diamondbacks’ first half on a winning note.
The Phillies’ lead, thanks to the lost, has now shrunk to half a game as the Mets has won their eighth game in a row while the Phillies were losing to the D-backs. The Marlins are now trailing by a game, as they prepare for their game with the Dodgers, while the Phillies’ lead against the Braves is now seven games as they prepare to meet the Padres. The Phillies hope to end the first half of the season on a high note while keeping their lead in the National League East before they begin the second half with a three games series against the Marlins in Miami.