For the fourth time in as many start, Cliff Lee dominates the opposing batters, this time by pitching a complete game two-hitter, as he allowed in only an unearned run, as the Phils defeat the D-backs, 8-1. They increase their lead over the Marlins to five-and-a-half games as the fish lose to the Astros.
The Phils took the lead in the third as, with a runner on first, and with one out, Chase Utley hits a two-run home run to center field, his twenty-fifth home run of the season, scoring ahead of him Shane Victorino, who had just walked, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. The D-backs would cut the Phils’ lead in half in the fourth as, with a man on third base, and with one man out, Stephen Drew hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Ryan Roberts, who had earlier reached base on a Pedro Feliz fielding error as he misplayed the ball, going to second on the error, then reaching third on Augie Ojeda’s ground out, 4-3, making it 2-1 Phils. That would turn out to be as much offense as the D-backs will be able to mustard. In the fifth, the Phils would bust the game wide open as, with two men on, and with one man out, Ryan Howard hit a three-run bomb into left center field, his thirty-first home run of the year, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier double, and had gone to third on Victorino’s single, and Victorino, who had earlier singled, to give the Phils a 5-1 lead. The Phils then made it 6-1 as Jayson Werth followed Howard with a solo home run, his twenty-sixth home run of the season. In the top of the sixth, with one man out, pinch hitter Chad Tracy got on base with a pinch hit single, ending Lee’s no-hit bit at five and a third innings, before being stranded at first as the next two D-back hitters flew out to right (Roberts) and struck out looking (Ojeda). The Phils would increase their lead to 7-1 in the bottom half of the inning as, with a man on second, and with two men out, Victorino hits an RBI double, scoring Lee, who had earlier got on base with a single, and then went to second on a wild pitch. In the seventh,the Phils added another run as, with one man out, Werth hits a solo home run, his second of the night and his twenty-seventh home run of the year, making it an 8-1 Phils’ lead. That would be more than enough for Lee, as he would only allow two more base runners after giving up the single, a hit batter in the top of the seventh (Rusty Ryal) and a single in the eighth (Alex Romero), mowing down the D-backs in the ninth inning with a fly out to right (Josh Whitesell), a fly out to left (Drew) and a strike out swinging (Mark Reynolds), as he recorded a two-hitter, and his fourth straight victory since becoming a Phil and his seventh straight win in his last seven starts.
Cliff Lee picked up the win as he pitched a complete game, his second since joining the Phils, as he gave up an unearned run on two hits and a hit batter, while striking out eleven batters, tying a career high. His record is now 11-9 (4-0) with an ERA of 2.72 (0.82). Dan Haren took the lost as he lasted only five innings, giving up six runs on nine hits and a walk, while striking out six. His record is now 12-8 with a 2.74 ERA. Clay Zavada pitched one and a third innings, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out two. Juan Gutierrez pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on one hit, while he struck out one. Blaine Boyer pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, as he struck out a batter.
The Phils had thirteen hits in the game, with Jayson Werth leading the way with three hits, with two of his hits being solo home runs, raising his average to .267. Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, and yes, Cliff Lee, followed with two hits apiece, with one of Shane’s hits being an RBI double, while one of Utley’s hits was a two-run home run. Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez and Paul Boko had the other four Phils’ hits, with Rollins’ being a double, and Howard’s being a three-run bomb which broke the game wide open. All but one of the Phils’ run came via the long ball, something the Phils do very well, but they will need to rely on less if they hope to win their second straight league title and world series championship.
The Phillies (68-49, 1st National League East) will conclude their short home stand with the Diamondbacks (54-67, 4th National League West) with a night game. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm. The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (7-6, 3.88), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on August 14, where he pitched seven innings, giving up just two runs, only one of which was earned, on seven hits and a walk, while striking out two, in the Phils’ 3-2 win. He will be trying for his first win in about a month, while also going for the series sweep. He will be opposed by Doug Davis (7-10, 3.59), who is coming off a no-decision of his own against the Dodgers on August 15, as he went six innings, giving up two runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out two, in the D-backs’ 4-3 win. He will be trying to prevent the sweep. The Phils will be trying to end the short home stand on a positive note, before going onto the road to face the hurting Mets for four games, and then the lowly Pirates for three, with a good chance to increase their lead in the East over the Marlins by the time they come back home.
The Phillies’ bat appear to have decided to come out of hiding as they crush the Cubs, 12-5, as they give runs support to Pedro Martinez as he pitched his first game back in the major leagues. Their lead has now gone back up to four and a half games over both the Marlins and the Braves as the Marlins lose to the Astros.
The Phils jumped to a quick lead in the first as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Chase Utley hits an RBI double, knocking in Shane Victorino, who had earlier tripled, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Phils made it a 2-0 lead as Ryan Howard tripled home Utley. The Cubs would cut the lead in half in the second as, with one man on, and one out, Jeff Baker hits an RBI single, knocking in Kosuke Fukudome, who had earlier doubled, making it a 2-1 Phils lead. The Phils increased their lead in the third as, with a man on, and with nobody out, Victorino hits a two-run home run, his ninth home run of the year, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had just doubled, making it 4-1 Phils. The Phils then busted the game wide open in the fourth. With two men on, and with nobody out, Carlos Ruiz hits an RBI single, scoring Jayson Werth, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second base on Pedro Feliz’s single, giving the Phils a 5-1 lead, while Feliz who go all the way to third on Cubs’ center fielder Fukudome’s throwing error, while Ruiz would move up to second base. Two batters later, after Phils’ starter Pedro Martinez had grounded out, 4-3, for the inning’s first out, Jimmy Rollins hits a three-run home run, his fifteenth home run of the season, knocking in both Feliz and Ruiz, while giving the Phils an 8-1 lead. Four batters later, with two men on base, and two men out, Raul Ibanez hits a three-run bomb of his own, his twenty-seventh home run of the year, knocking in Utley, who had earlier singled, and Howard, who had just walked, moving Utley to second, as the Phils took an 11-1 lead, while batting around. Two batters later, Feliz would make it a 12-1 Phils lead, as he hit an RBI single, knocking in Werth, who had just doubled. After Ruiz walked, moving Feliz up to second, the Cubs would finally get out of the inning as Martinez struck out swinging. The Cubs got a run back in the fifth as, with the bases loaded, via a single by Koyie Hill, a walk by Sean Marshall and a single by Ryan Theriot, and with nobody out, Milton Bradley hits an RBI single, scoring Hill, making it a 12-2 Phils’ lead, while Marshall and Theriot moved up to third and second respectively. Two batters later, with the bases still loaded and with one man out, Jake Fox hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Marshall, making it a 12-3 Phils’ lead, while also sending Theriot to third. On the play, Victorino, who caught the ball, had a cup of beer thrown at him from the stand by one of the Cubs fans. After the play, Victorino showed his displeasure by looking at the fan, who was quickly removed from the ballpark by security. I don’t know what that idiot was thinking, cause Fox would’ve been called out by the umpires for fan interference if Victorino had dropped the ball. Folks, I don’t want to hear any excuses, cause that guy was a moron, pure and simple!!!! In the ninth, with runners on the corners, and one man out, Aaron Miles hits into an RBI ground out, 3-unassisted, for the inning’s second out, scoring Sam Fuld, who had earlier singled, and had gone to third on Eric Bruntlett’s fielding error of a Hill ground ball, making it a 12-4 Phils’ lead, while Hill, who was safe on Bruntlett’s error, moved up to second base. The next batter, Theriot, then hits an RBI single, scoring Hill, cutting the Phils’ lead down to 12-5. But that would be it as pinch hitter Geovany Soto grounded out, 5-3, for the game’s final out.
Pedro Martinez got the win as he went five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out five in his first start in the majors since last September. His record is now 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA. Chan Ho Park pitched three scoreless innings, as he struck out three. Chad Durbin pitched an inning, giving up two runs, neither of which were earned, on two hits. Jeff Samardzija took the lost, as he pitched only three and a third innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits, as he struck out four. His record is now 1-2 with an ERA of 7.81. Sean Marshall pitched three and a third innings, giving up five runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out four. Aaron Heilman and Carlos Marmol combined for two and a third scorless innings, striking out a batter between them (Marmol).
The Phils exploded for fourteen hits, with each of the regulars having at least one hit. Chase Utley lead the team with three hits, including a double, knocking in a run, while scoring two, as he raised his average to .296. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz followed with two hits a piece, with Rollins’ hits being a double and a three-run homer, while Victorino’s two hits were a triple and a two-run home run and one of Werth’s two hits was a double. Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez and Carlos Ruiz each had a hit, with Howard’s hit being a triple and Ibanez’s hit being a three-run home run. Besides the runs knocked in by Utley, Rollins, Victorino and Ibanez, Howard, Feliz and Ruiz each knocked in a run. The Phils had a total of eight extra-base hits in last night’s game (3 (2B), 2 (3B), 3 (HR)). Hopefully, this will mean that the offense has returned.
The Phils (63-48, 1st National League East) will conclude with an afternoon game against the Cubs (58-54, 2nd National League Central). The game is already in progress and is being played at Wrigley Field. The Phils’ starter is Cliff Lee (9-9 (2-0), 2.95 (1.13)), who is coming off a win against the Rockies on August 6, where he went seven innings, giving up only one run on six hits and a walk, as he struck out nine, in the Phils’ 3-1 win. He is trying to lead the Phils to a sweep over the Cubs. The Cubs will counter with Ryan Dempster (6-5, 4.04), who is coming off a win against the Rockies on August 8, where he went six innings, giving up just two runs on nine hits, while striking out two, in the Cubs’ 6-5 win. He will be trying to avoid the sweep. The Phils are presently leading the Cubs, 5-1, after six innings, trying to perform a sweep of the Cubbies, before going on to Atlanta to see if they can push the Braves back, as well as increase their lead in the NL East.
Update: Turns out security threw out the wrong person last night, as the moron who threw the beer let someone else take the rap for his misdeed. But, both the Cubs and Victorino have filed a complaint against the toad, while his face is getting plastered all over the place. Hopefully it’ll be only a matter of time before the Chicago boys in blue come knocking at his door.