A solo home run by Jayson Werth helps to cap a come from behind win as the Phillies defeated the last place Nats in the first game of a three games set. The Nationals would strike first in the first inning as Willie Harris would hit a solo home run off of Phils’ starter Joe Blanton for his tenth home run of the year to give the Nats a quick 1-0 lead. The Phillies would come back to tie it in the second as Greg Dobbs would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Ryan Howard, who has earlier singled and would then move to third on Shane Victorino’s double. The Nationals would retake the lead in the fourth as Jesus Flores would hit a RBI single, knocking in Lastings Milledge, who has earlier singled and has gone to third on Ronnie Belliard’s single, giving the Nats a 2-1 lead. The Nats would then increase their lead in the fifth as, with one out and a runner on first, Ryan Zimmerman would hit a RBI triple, scoring Harris, who has earlier singled, to make it 3-1 Nationals. Zimmerman would then score on a two out single by Belliard, to make it 4-1 Nats. The Phillies would then do something that they haven’t done successfully for a while, strike back. In their half of the fifth, Victorino would start the inning off with a triple. He would then score to make it a 4-2 Nats’ lead as Dobbs’ fly ball to left is booted by the left fielder Harris for an error. Dobbs would then steal second, before going to third on Chris Coste’s line drive single to left that was deflected by Nats’ shortstop Belliard, putting runners on the corners. Geoff Jenkins, who has come up to pinch hit for Blanton, would make the score 4-3 Nationals as he hit a sacrifice fly. But the inning would then end on a Jimmy Rollins’ double play ball, 4-6-3. The Phillies’ bullpen, in this case Chad Durbin, would then come in to pitch two innings of shut out ball. The Phillies’ bat would then tie the game at four all in the seventh, as, with runners on first and third, and one out, Coste would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Victorino, who was earlier safe on a force out, and then would go to third on a Dobbs’ single, although he has gotten to third base earlier in the inning when a pick off attempt by Nats’ catcher Flores would go past first baseman Kory Casto into foul territory, but it was called back because home plate umpire Joe West said that Flores’ throwing hand has hit his mask when he was getting ready to throw the ball towards first. After Ryan Madson pitched a quick 1-2-3 eighth, with one out in the Phils’ half of the inning, Jayson Werth would give the Phillies the lead as he would hit his seventeenth home run of the year, a career high, giving the Phils a 5-4 lead. That would turn out to be the game, as Brad Lidge would come up in the ninth, and would record his thirty-first save of the year as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two.
Joe Blanton would get a no-decision as he would pitch five so-so innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits. Chad Durbin would pitch two scoreless innings, giving up three hits. Ryan Madson would get the win as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, strriking out two batters. His record is now 3-1 with a 3.11 ERA. Brad Lidge would also pitch a 1-2-3 inning, strking out two men as well, as he records his thirty-first save in thirty-one tries. Jason Bergmann would also get a no-decision as he went six and a third innings, giving up four runs, three of which were earned, on six hits. Steven Shell would get the lost and his first blown save, as he would go an inning, giving up one earned run on one hit, Jayson Werth’s home run. Charlie Manning and Saul Rivera would each pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits.
Other than Jayson Werth’s home run, the offense would not get a key hit to produce runs. Instead, their other four runs would come in via three sac flies and a Nats’ error. If the offense want to do better than that, it will need to get more than just six to seven hits a night, as it got outhit 11 to 7 by the worst team in the majors. That will not do if they want to get back into first place.
The Phillies (67-58) will continue their three games series with the Nationals (44-82) with a game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Brett Myers (5-10, 5.02), who is coming off a hard lost to the Dodgers on August 14 as he pitched his fourth straight quality start, going seven innings as he gave up only three earned runs on five hits, in the Phils’ 3-1 lost. In his last start against the Nats, on July 29, he would get the win as he went seven innings, giving up an unearned run on four hits, in the Phillies’ 2-1 win. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to dominate the Nationals once again. The Nats will counter by sending Collin Balester (2-5, 5.06), who is coming off a lost against the Mets on August 14, where he would pitch five innings, giving up five earned runs on four hits, in the Nationals’ 9-3 lost. His previous start against the Phillies was a defeat on July 29, as he gave up two earned runs on six hits in six innings of work, in the Nationals’ 2-1 lost. He will also be looking to improve his record while trying to stop the Nationals’ present losing streak at eleven games.
The Phillies continue to trail the Mets by a game and a half as the Mets came from behind to defeat the Braves. They are ahead of the Marlins by two and a half games as the Marlins cool off the Giants. The Phillies will try to stay close to the Mets, praying that they won’t lose any more ground before their meeting at the end of the home stand.
For the second straight game, the Phillies were involved in a shut out. Only this time, they were the ones to come out on top, but just barely, as they defeated the Nationals 1-0. Cole Hamels would pitch seven strong innings, as he gives up no runs to the Nats, on four hits, while striking out eleven batters. Hamels has now pitched nineteen straight scoreless innings, going back to the last three innings of his May 9 start against the Giants. The Phils’ offense has been kept from scoring for just as many innings, not scoring a run for seventeen and two-thirds innings, as it continues, until the top of the ninth, to leave men on base, in this case nine runners, with four of them in scoring position, in the first eight innings, as Tom Bergmann and Saul Rivera would both find ways to keep them from scoring. The Phillies would finally get a run across in the ninth inning, when, with the Nats’ closer Jon Rauch pitching, Pedro Feliz would start the inning off with a double. After Eric Bruntlett comes in to pinch run for Feliz, Carlos Ruiz would sacrifice him over to third, putting the winning run on third base with one out. Greg Dobbs would then come out to pitch hit for Tom Gordon, who has kept the Nationals from scoring in their half of the eighth, keeping the game scoreless. With the count 2-0, Dobbs would hit a blooping single to center field, scoring Bruntlett and giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead. After Jimmy Rollins flies out, Shane Victorino would hit a double to center field. But, Dobbs would be tagged out at home plate, thanks to a strong throw from Lastings Milledge to shortstop Cristian Guzman to catcher Jesus Flores, who would block the plate, thus keeping Dobbs from scoring. This would keep the score 1-0 Phils. Brad Lidge would pitch the bottom of the ninth in relief of Gordon. After striking out the first two batters he faced, he would walk Elijah Dukes with the count full. Dukes would then proceed to steal second and third, before Lidge would walk pitch hitter Rob Mackowiak, also on a full count, giving the Nationals runners on the corners, with the winning run on first. Then on the first pitch to Felipe Lopez, Lopez would hit a grounder to Chase Utley. Utley would bobble the ball before finally throwing out a slow moving Lopez to end the game and preserve the victory for the Phillies as Lidge records his eleventh save in as many tries.
Cole Hamels, with his seven innings of shut out ball, would get a no-decision while dropping his ERA to 2.61. Tom Gordon, pitching an inning of relief, would get the win as he gives up no runs on one hit. His record is now 4-2, with an ERA of 4.26. Brad Lidge records his eleventh save of the year as he goes one full innings, giving up no runs on no hits, striking out two while also walking two. Tom Bergmann would also get a no-decision as he pitches seven innings, giving up no runs while scattering five hits. Saul Rivera would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Jon Rauch would take the lost, giving up an earned run on three hits. His record is now 2-1, with a 2.78 ERA.
The Phils’ offense, expected to be the best run producer in the National League this year, is scoring less runs than expected, while the batters have suddenly stopped getting the key hit. Maybe having the offense play some small ball for a few games might be what the doctor ordered, else the starters will soon find themselves in for a lot of long games without offensive support. And, considering how some of them are pitching right now (I’m talking to you Myers and Eaton), that might end up meaning a bullpen weaken from overwork by September.
The Phillies (25-22) will conclude their trip to the nation’s capitol with a night game tonight from Nationals Park. The game will start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phils’ starter will be Jamie Moyer (3-3, 4.89), who is coming off of a good outing against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 16, where he went six and two-thirds innings, giving up only three earned runs on seven hits, in the Phils’ 10-3 victory. He hopes to improve his record while trying to help the Phils win the series as he pitches in the 46th ballpark in his 22 years career. The Nationals (20-27) will counter with Matt Chico (0-5, 6.07), who they are using in place of Shawn Hill, who has an ailing right elbow. Chico is coming out of the bullpen, where he was demoted after losing five of his six starts earlier this season. Coming out of the bullpen, he would appear in three games, where he would pitch six and one third innings, giving up just one earned run on six hits, as his ERA drops from 6.87 to 6.07. He hopes to win his first start of the year while adding to the Phils’ offensive problems, while the Phils hopes to final break out the bats and start scoring runs.
The Phils’ victory keeps them a game of a half behind the Florida Marlins, who won their game against the Diamondbacks, 3-2. The Phils are technically still tied for second place, but now they are a .001 percentage point behind the Atlanta Braves, who have swept a double header from the New York Mets, by scores of 6-1 and 6-2. The losts put the Mets in fourth place, a game behind both the Phils and the Braves. The Phils hopes to get a win tonight, to keep pace with both the Marlins and the Braves and stay ahead of the Mets in the tight National League East.
Tim Redding shuts down the Phillies’ offense for the second time this season, as the Washington Nationals defeat the Phils, 4-0. Redding would go six and a third innings against the Fightin’s, scattering seven hits, as he and the Nationals’ bullpen would keep the Phils’ off the scoreboard, while the Phillies’ offense would go 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position. Meanwhile, Phils’ starter Brett Myers would give up three runs to the last place Nationals as they hurt him mostly with hard hit doubles. The Nationals’ first run would come in the first, as Dmitri Young hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Cristian Guzman, who has earlier singled. The Nationals would increase their lead in the third, making it 3-0, on a RBI double into no man’s land in right field, with the bases loaded, by Lastings Milledge, knocking in Felipe Lopez, who has doubled earlier, and Guzman, who has singled. The National’s last run would come in the seventh inning, off of Ryan Madson, pitching in relief of Myers, as Guzman scores on a double play ground out by Young.
The lost would be only the second time this year that the Phils would not score a run in a game, both times coming at the hands of Tim Redding. So far this year, Redding has blanked the Phils for thirteen and a third innings, giving up only eight hits to the Fightin’s and no runs. And this is also the first time during the season that the Phils have lost three games in a row. Even worst, the Phillies’ offense, during all three losts, has been unable to get a key hit when they’d needed it the most. In fact, starting with their series against the San Diego Padres back on April 29-May 1, the Fightin’s have not been crushing weaker teams like they should. Their record against weak teams, starting with that series, has been 8-8, with them in fact losing two of their last three. The Phillies’ offense need to turn things around, and fast, else they are not going to be in contention for the pennant comes September.
Brett Myers was the losing pitcher, as he goes six innings, giving up three earned runs on eight hits. His record is now 2-5 with a 5.76 ERA. Ryan Madson went two innings in relief, giving up an earned run on two hits. Tim Redding was the winner for the Nationals, as he would go six and one third innings, giving up no runs on seven hits. His record is now 6-3 as his ERA drops to 3.16. Saul Rivera would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Luis Ayala and Joel Hanrahan would both pitch an inning in relief, both giving up no runs on no hits.
The Phils are now in third place in the National League East, a game and a half behind the first place Marlins, a half game behind the second place Mets, and a half game ahead of the fourth place Braves, who all had the day off. As the Phillies (24-22) met the Nationals (20-26) tonight, the Braves and Mets will start a four games series in Atlanta, while the Marlins will met the best team in the National League, the Diamonbacks, for three games in Miami, Florida. The Phillies need to get back to their winning ways, and once again get close to first place, while hoping that the Diamondbacks will beat the Marlins in their series, while the Braves and Mets will hurt each other in theirs.
The next Phillies game will be played tonight in Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., starting at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phils’ ace Cole Hamel (5-3, 2.89) will be their starter, hoping to end the bleeding. He is coming off his first complete game shut-out against the Braves on May 15, where he gave up no runs on four hits, while striking out six, in the Phils’ 5-0 victory. He has won three of his last four starts, giving up four runs or less in each of his starts. Lifetime against the Nationals, he is 4-3 with a 2.49 ERA in ten starts. He hopes to improve his record while giving the Phillies’ offense a chance to break loose. The Nationals will counter with Jason Bergmann (1-1, 7.45), who is coming off a win against the Mets on May 15, where he went seven innings, giving up no runs on three hits, in the Nationals’ 1-0 win. In three previous starts, he got hammered, including his first game this year against the Phils way back on April 3, where he received a no decision, as he pitched five and one third innings, giving up five earned runs on seven hits to the Fightin’s, in the Nationals’ 8-7 lost. He’ll be looking to improve his record while looking to increase the Phils’ present hitting woos.