A quality start by Joe Blanton is once again wasted as the Phils’ offense is only able to get four hits as the Phils lose to the Marlins, 3-2. The Phils lead over the fish is now down to six games.
The Marlins took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as, with one man out, Nick Johnson hits a solo home run, his seventh home run of the year. Two batters later, the Marlins made it a 2-0 lead as, with one man on, and with two men out, Dan Uggla hits an RBI double, knocking in Hanley Ramirez, who had earlier doubled. The Marlins then increased their lead in the second inning as Cody Ross hits a lead-off home run, his nineteenth home run of the year, giving the Marlins a 3-0 lead. The Phils would finally cut the lead in the seventh as, with one man on, and nobody out, Ben Francisco hits a two-run home run, scoring Raul Ibanez, who had earlier singled, making it 3-2 Marlins. That would be the final score as the Phils would be unable to get an offense going.
Joe Blanton took the loss, as he pitched six and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out four. His record is now 7-6 with a 4.02 ERA. Chan Ho Park, Ryan Madson, Scott Eyre and Tyler Walker pitched a combine two and a third shut out innings, giving up just two hits (Park (1), Eyre (1)) and a walk (Eyre), while striking out five (Madson (3), Eyre (1), Walker (1)). Ricky Nolasco got the win as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks, while he struck out seven. His record is now 8-7 with a 4.86 ERA. Renyel Pinto pitched a scoreless inning, recording his eighth hold, as he gave up just two walks, as he struck out a batter. Leo Nunez recorded his tenth save of the year as he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
The Phils had only four hits in the game, with Raul Ibanez having two of them, both singles, raising his average to .306. Ryan Howard and Ben Francisco had the other two Phils’ hits, with Howard’s hit being a double and Francisco’s hit being a two-run home run, knocking in both of the Phils’ runs. The Phils offense is continuing to struggle, not being helped by the fact that not only are the batters in the middle of the lineup not getting any key hits, but they are striking out a lot with men in scoring position. Once they have stopped striking out, they’ll start knocking in runs and the offense will start rolling again.
The Phillies (61-46, 1st) continue their weekend series with the Marlins (56-53, 2nd) tonight with a night game. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Cole Hamels (7-6, 4.68), who is coming off a lost to the Giants on August 2, as he went only five plus innings, giving up seven runs on ten hits and two walks, as he struck out only two batters, in the Phils’ 7-3 lost. He will be trying to rebound from that lost and try to even the series in the process. The Marlins will counter with Sean West (3-4, 4.91), who is the probable Marlins’ starter after having been sent down to the minors last month. The Phils will be trying to restart their offense while hoping that Hamels will finally regain his old form, so that they can even up the series and regain their seven games lead in the NL East.
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.
Yesterday afternoon at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, Jason Ellison wins the game for the Phils in the ninth by knocking in Miguel Cairo with a double, as the Phils defeated the Cardinals, 2-1.
Chan Ho Park, the Phils’ starter, who continues to battle for the fifth and final spot in the starting rotation, had a strong start as he went four and two-third innings, giving up only three hits to the redbirds while striking out six, as he used his pitches effectively to baffle the Cardinals’ batters. Clay Condrey relieves him in the fifth, pitching an inning and a third of shut out ball, although needing to pitch his way out of a jam in the sixth with a runner on second, Albert Pujols who had gotten on base with a double, with only one out, as he gives up only a hit and a walk while striking out one. Antonio Bastardo follows him with two innings of relief, allowing a run to score in the seventh on a two-out RBI single by Brendan Ryan, knocking in Joe Thurston from second base, who was pinch running for Khalil Greene, who had earlier doubled, as Carlos Ruiz was unable to hold onto Raul Ibanez’s throw to the plate, which at the time tied the score at one run apiece. Bastardo would go on to give up two hits while striking out two. Joe Bisenius would pitch the ninth, pitching a 1-2-3 inning, and picking up the win when the Phils scored the winning run in the bottom half of the inning. His spring training record is now 1-0 with a 9.00 ERA.
The Phillies batters had nine hits in the game. Jayson Werth would get the Phils’ first hit as he hits a solo home run in the first inning, his second home run in two straight games, giving the Phils a quick 1-0 lead. Werth would have two hits in the game, as would Greg Dobbs and Cairo. Ibanez, Geoff Jenkins and Ellison, who would knock in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning, all had one hit each. Also, Chase Utley would start the game for the Phils at second base, going 0 for 2 as he stayed in the game for four innings, while Pedro Feliz would play at third, also going 0 for 2.
In other Phillies’ new, Cole Hamels will go back to Philadelphia tonight to have his elbow checked tomorrow morning for tightness. No serious problem is expected, but the Phils are just being cautious with their ace.
The Phillies are presently playing the New York Yankees in Grapefruit League play.
Lastly, I’d just discovered that I am actually 26th, not 27th in the latest fan leader ranking, as one of the blogs originally listed among the first 26 was removed.
There are several things that are rear to do in Baseball. One is to pitch a no-hitter, whether its ends up being a perfect game or not. The other is hitting for the cycle. Of the two feats, hitting for the cycle is a very rare thing to do while being a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, as it has been accomplished only eight times by a Phil, with one player actually doing it twice.
For those of you who might not know what hitting for the cycle is, hitting for the cycle means that in one game, you have hit a single, a double, a triple and a home run, in at least four official at-bats. To date, hitting for the cycle has occurred only 248 times in Major League History. Players playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates have done it the most times with 23, while no players have so far done it for either the San Diego Padres, the Florida Marlins or the Tampa Bay Rays. The last major leaguer to have hit for the cycle has been Adrián Beltré of the Seattle Mariners, who had accomplished the feat on September 1, 2008, just hours after Stephen Drew of the Arizona Diamondbacks had done it.
Among the Phillies, the first one to hit for the cycle would be Lave Cross, who would perform the feat on April 24, 1894, in a 4-1 win over the Brooklyn Bridegrooms (now the Los Angeles Dodgers). Several months later, on August 17, Sam Thompson would become the second Phillie player to accomplish the feat, doing it during a 29-4 rout of the Louisville Colonels (Yes, Louisville, Kentucky, actually had a major league franchise before the start of the 20th Century.). It would be 33 years before the third Phillie to hit for the cycle, Cy Williams, who would win the National League home run title that same year, would do the deed, performing it on August 5, 1927, in a 9-7 victory over the Pirates. The fourth Phillie to hit for the cycle, Chuck Klein, would perform it on July 1, 1931, in a 11-6 win over the Chicago Cubs. Less than two years later, Klein would become the only Phillie player to perform the deed twice, as he would hit for the cycle again on May 26, 1933, during the year he would win the NL triple crown (batting average, home runs, RBIs), doing it in a 5-4 lost to the St. Louis Cardinals. The sixth Phil to join the club would be Johnny Callison, who would accomplish the deed on June 27, 1963, over 30 years after Klein’s second performance, doing it in a 13-4 rout of the Pirates. It would be another 32 years before the next Phil, Greg Jefferies, would hit for the cycle, doing it on August 24, 1995, during a 7-6 win over the Dodgers. The most recent Phillie player to do it, David Bell, would did it on June 28, 2004, in a 14-6 victory over the Montreal Expos (now the Washington Senators).
In the eight times that a Phil has hit for the cycle, the Phillies have won all but one of those games. The team that the cycle has been done against the most has been the Dodgers and the Pirates, who have both been on the wrong end twice, while the Louisville Colonels, the Cubs, the Cardinals (the only team to win when a Phil hit for the cycle) and the Nationals (as the Expos), have been the other four. Two Hall of Famers, Sam Thompson and Chuck Klein (who did it twice) have both hit for the cycle while being a Phil.
When will another Phil hit for the cycle? Your guess is as good as mines.
Sources: Wikipedia, Baseball Almanac.com
Two home runs by Chase Utley and Pat Burrell in the sixth inning would propel the Phillies past the Dodgers to take a one game to none lead in the National League Championship Series, 3-2. The Dodgers would score first, taking a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning, as, with a runner on second and one out, Manny Ramirez would hit a RBI double, knocking in Andre Ethier, who has earlier doubled. The Dodgers would make it 2-0 in the fourth, as, with a runner on third, and one out, Blake DeWitt would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Matt Kemp, who has earlier hit a ground-rule double and has gone to third on Casey Blake’s ground out, 6-3. By the bottom of the sixth inning, Dodgers’ starter Derek Lowe was in complete control of the Phillies, making most of the Phillies’ batters hit into ground outs, although a fly out by Jimmy Rollins would end a two on, two out, Phillies’ threat in the fifth, while Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels was keeping the Dodgers under control, dispite giving up two runs thanks to three doubles and a sac fly. But things would suddenly change in the Phillies’ half of the sixth. Shane Victorino would start the inning off by hitting a grounder to Dodgers’ shortstop Rafael Furcal, who would make a quick, high throw, to Dodgers’ first baseman James Loney, which would tip off the end of his glove and rolled into foul territory behind first base. After slowing down to make sure that he has touched first base, Victorino would move on to second base on Furcal’s throwing error. The next batter, Chase Utley, would then follow by guessing correctly on a first pitch fastball, sending it into the right field seats for a two-run home run, scoring Victorino before him, to tie the game up at 2-2. After Ryan Howard would ground out to Loney, for the inning’s first out, Pat Burrell would get the count up to 3-1 before he would hit a fastball into the left field seats for a solo home run, giving the Phillies a 3-2 lead. That would be the game for Lowe as Dodgers’ manager Joe Torre would come out and replace him with Chan Ho Park, who would then proceed to end the inning by getting Jayson Werth to fly out to center and Pedro Feliz to ground out, 6-3. Hamels, in the seventh, would have a 1-2-3 inning, as he would get first DeWitt and then Jeff Kent to strike out swinging, and then end the inning by getting Furcal to ground out, 1-6-3, as the ball glance off of Hamels right to Rollins, before he would easily throw Furcal out at first. In the eighth, Ryan Madson would replace Hamels on the mound. Madson would begin the inning off by getting Ethier to strike out swinging. Charlie Manuel would then come out of the dugout to tell Madson how he was to pitch to Ramirez. I have no idea if Madson actually followed Manuel’s orders or not, as Ramirez would swing at the first pitch thrown to him, a changeup, which he would line directly to third baseman Feliz for the second out. The next batter, Russell Martin, would get on base on a hard ground ball that would glance off of Feliz’s shin, which would slow it down enough for Burrell to get to it and throw it quickly to second base, holding Martin to a single. Loney would follow by hitting into a ground out, 4-3, ending the inning. The ball is then given to Brad Lidge in the ninth to close out the game. Lidge would start the inning by getting Kemp to fly out to right center, which was caught by Victorino for out number one. Blake would follow by flying out to deep center field for the inning’s second out. Lidge would then end the game by getting DeWitt to strike out swinging, getting his third save of the post-season.
Cole Hamel would get the win, his second win of the post-season, as he would pitch seven innings, giving up only two earned runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out eight. His record in the series is now 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA. Ryan Madson would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out one. Brad Lidge would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth inning, recording his first save of the series and his forty-fourth save in forty-four tries. Derek Lowe would take the lost, as he went five and one-third innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on six hits and a walk, while striking out only two. His series’ record is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA. Chan Ho Park would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Greg Maddux would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit. Hong-Chih Kuo would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no runs.
Until the sixth inning, Dodgers’ starter Derek Lowe had everything going his way, having the Phillies’ bats under his control as he got most of his first fifteen outs on ground balls, including one that would lead into a double play. But, everything would change thanks to a lead-off two-base error by Dodgers’ shortstop Rafael Furcal on a Shane Victorino ground ball. After that, Chase Utley and Pat Burrell would guess right on a couple of Lowe’s fastballs, sending them into the right and left field seats, respectively, to give the Phillies the lead, a lead that they would never surrender. Meanwhile, Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels, although giving up runs in the first and fourth innings, was only in trouble once, and that was after giving up the RBI double to Manny Ramirez in the first, as he would, after striking out Russell Martin for the inning’s second out, walk James Loney, then watch Carlos Ruiz allow an 1-0 pitch to Matt Kemp to get pass him for a pass ball, which would allow Ramirez to move up to third and Loney to second. But he would finally end the threat by getting Kemp to fly out to right. The Dodgers would not put together another major threat against Hamels, outside of scoring another run off of him in the fourth, over the next six innings, before he would hand the ball over to Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge.
The National League Championship Series will continue in Philadelphia this afternoon, with the second game being played at Citizens Bank Park, starting at 4:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers, who is coming off a good start against the Brewers on October 2, where he pitched seven inning, giving up just two earned runs on just two hits and three walks, while striking out four, in the Phillies’ 5-2 win. His record in the National League Divisional Series was 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA. His regular season record was 10-13 with a 4.55 ERA in 190 innings of work, as he struck out 163 batters, while walking only 65. But, his record after coming back from a minor league assignment to help clear his head is 7-4, with two no-decisions, in thirteen starts. In two starts this year against the Dodgers, he is 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA, as he went a combined total of fourteen innings, giving up only three earned runs on fourteen hits and five walks, while striking out sixteen batters. He hopes to do as well against the Dodgers this afternoon as he did against the Brewers. The Dodgers will counter with Chad Billingsley, who is coming off his brilliant start against the Cubs on October 2, where he went six and one third innings, giving up only one earned run on five hits and a walk, while striking out seven, in the Dodgers’ 10-3 win. During the regular season, his record was 16-10 with a 3.14 ERA in 200 and two-thirds innings of work, as he struck out 201 batters, while walking just 80. In one start against the Phillies, back on August 25, he is 0-1, as he went six innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits and five walks, while striking out only three, in the Dodgers’ 5-0 lost. He will be seeing if he can improve on his Divisional Series start and avoid being hit as he was in his previous start against the Phillies. The Phillies will be trying to take a two games to none lead into Los Angeles while the Dodgers will be trying to leave Philadelphia with a spilt.
Jamie Moyer would pitch seven scoreless inning of three hit ball while the bullpen trio of Ryan Madson, J.C. Romero and Brad Lidge would give the Padres only one more hit, while Pat Burrell would hit a solo home run off of Padres’ starter Greg Maddux to give the Phillies a 1-0 victory. The game for the first six innings would be a pitchers’ duel between two veteran pitchers, Moyer and Maddux, two of the three veteran pitchers still left from the Draft Class of 1984. Maddux would get himself out of a two men on, one men out, Phils’ threat in the top of the second by getting Eric Bruntlett to pop out and Carlos Ruiz to fly out. Moyer would get himself out of a jam of his own in the Padres’ sixth, when, with runners on first and third, and two outs, he would get Kevin Kouzmanoff to ground out, first baseman to the pitcher, for the final out. Then in the seventh, Pat Burrell would knock in the game’s only run as he would hit his third career home run off of Maddux, his twenty-eighth home run of the year, to give the Philles a 1-0 lead. In the Padres’ seventh, after giving up a lead-off single to Andrian Gonzalez, Moyer would get Chase Headley to line out to third, Tadahito Iguchi to line out to right and Nick Hundley to pop out to third, to end the inning and his night on the mound. The Phillies would then threathen to add to their lead in both the eighth and ninth innings, but they would be turned away in both innings by the Padres’ bullpen. The Padres would, in the meantime, get a runner on base with two outs in their own half of the eighth, but J.C. Romero, pitching in relief of Ryan Madson, who, in turrn, has been pitching in relief of Moyer, would end the inning by getting Brian Giles to ground out to Ryan Howard, who would just beat Giles to the bag for the final out. Brad Lidge would then come in to pitch the ninth and would record a 1-2-3 inning, to end the ballgame with his twenty-ninth save of the year.
Jamie Moyer would get the victory as he would pitch seven strong innings of shutout ball, giving up only three hits and walking only two batters as he constantly got ahead of the hitters. His record is now 11-7 with a 3.76 ERA. Ryan Madson would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. Brad Lidge would record his twenty-ninth save in twenty-nine attempts as he would pitch a 1-2-3 inning, strking out two. Greg Maddux would get the lost, as he also pitched seven innings, giving up an earned run, Pat Burrell’s solo home run, on five hits. His record is now 6-9 with a 3.99 ERA. Justin Hampson would face only one batter who would get on base on a throwing error. Mike Adams would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Wilfredo Ledezma would pitch two thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits, while striking out two. Clay Hensley would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits as he struck out the side.
The Phillies’ offense, in spite of Pat Burrell’s home run, is still not scoring runs when they need to. If not for Jamie Moyer’s pitching and some spectacular plays that were made in the field by both Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard, the Phillies would probably be trying to avoid six loses in a row instead of trying for a series win this upcoming Saturday night.
The Phillies (65-57) will continue their three games series with the Padres (47-75, 5th National League West) tonight. The game will be played at PETCO Park and will start at 10:05 pm Eastern (7:05 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (10-6, 4.74), who is coming off a recent disastrous start against the Dodgers on August 11, where he would only go three and a thirds innings, giving up seven earned runs on nine hits, in the Phillies’ 8-6 lost. He will be trying once again for his eleventh win, while hoping to both bounce back from his previous start and for the Phillies’ bat to wake up. The Padres’ starter, although announced, has not yet been listed, as the original starter, Chris Young, has just been placed on the disabled list by the Padres.
The Phillies are still trailing the Mets by a game, as they defeated the Pirates. They are ahead of the Marlins by two and a half games, as they’d lost to the Cubs. The Phillies will be trying to get a series win while still waiting for the offense to finally wake up.
The Phillies waste a seven innings, one hit effort by Joe Blanton, a good effort by most of their bullpen, only to finally lose to the Pirates 2-0 in twelve innings because the offense would not be able to score a run in the last twenty-three innings. Phillies’ starter Blanton and Pirates’ starter Paul Maholm would both pitch seven innings of scoreless ball, with Blanton only giving up one hit while striking out seven Pirates and Maholm giving up five while striking out ten Phillie’ batters. Both teams’ bullpens would then take over, keeping both teams’ offenses from scoring any runs until the top of the twelfth. With Les Walrond still on the mound for his second inning of work, with a man on third, and with one out, he would give up a RBI double to Steve Pearce, scoring Ryan Doumit, who has earlier doubled and reached third on a ground out, to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead. The Pirates would increase their lead to 2-0, when, with the bases loaded and two outs, Freddy Sanchez would hit an infield single, knocking in Pearce. In the bottom half of the ninth, the Phillies would threathen with runners on first and second and one out. But the threat would end when Chase Utley hit a fly ball to left field that would be caught by a sliding Brandon Moss who would then get up and throw to first to double up Shane Victorino, as the Phils would fail to score for the twenty-third straight inning.
Joe Blanton would get a no-decision as he pitches seven scoreless innings, giving up only one hit, while striking out seven Bucos. Chad Durbin, J.C. Romero and Brad Lidge would combine to pitch three shut out innings, giving up only one hit, although Lidge would walk two batters to go along with the hit to load the bases, but he would get out of the inning with a foul pop out. Les Walrond would get the lost, as he goes one and a third innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits and a walk. His record is now 0-1 with a 16.20 ERA. (All together now: WTH????) Clay Condrey would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on two hits. Paul Maholm would also get a no-decision as he also pitch seven scoreless innings while giving up five hits while striking out ten Phillies. Sean Burnett, Denny Bautista and John Grabow would together pitch two scoreless innings, giving up no hits. T.J. Beam would get the win as he pitches two scoreless innings, giving up no hits while walking three. His record is now 1-1 with a ERA of 4.40. Craig Hansen would get the save, his third of the season and his first as a Pirate, as he goes an inning, giving up no runs on no hits while walking two.
Okay, it’s time to face the facts. This team seriously stinks!!!!! I mean, it’s one thing to lose to a team like the Marlins, the Mets, or the Cardinals, but it is another thing to lose to the likes of the Pirates, who are going nowhere fast. I mean, twenty-three innings since scoring a run? Are you f—king kidding me? What in the bleep is wrong with this team? What are they waiting for, an engraved invitation to score runs??? Fellows, I have news for you: the invite isn’t coming. You need to go out there and start playing this game for real. We all know you can score runs. You just need to actually do it. I don’t know, maybe you idiots need to stop pressing. Take a collective deep breath, and stop trying to force yourselves into scoring runs and just try to get it done. Or maybe this team just need to have its collective backsides kicked in real good. I don’t know about the rest of the fanbase but I am getting real sick and tired of constantly watching and hearing this team screw up, while hearing the broadcast team being able to figure out what they are doing wrong, Charlie Manuel wondering what its going to take to stop it, while the players themselves keep acting as if they are clueless and constantly saying, stay calm people, we’ll break out. Fellows its August, get it through your thick skulls, as long as you keep up with the Alfred E. Nueman bit, it isn’t going to occur. Get me???? Make things happen!!! Is it really that hard to do? I hope not. Oh, one last thing: STOP MAKING PITCHERS LOOK LIKE THEY’RE CY YOUNG!!!!!
The Phillies (62-53) will continue their three games weekend series with the Pirates (53-62, 5th National League Central) on Saturday night. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (4-9, 5.34), who is coming off a no-decision against the Cardinals on August 3, where he pitched six strong innings, giving up only two earned runs on four hits, in the Phillies’ 5-4 win. Lifetime against the Pirates, Myers is 2-4 with a 2.92 ERA. He will be trying for his three straight quality start since coming back from the minors, and his second straight win, while hoping that the Phillies’ offense will finally wake up. The Pirates will counter with Ian Snell (4-8, 6.14), who is coming off a bad start against the Cubs on August 3, where he got a no-decision as he would pitch only four innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits, in the Pirates’ 8-5 lost. Lifetime against the Phillies he is 3-2 with a 4.50 ERA. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to see if he can keep the Phillies off of the scoreboard.
The Phillies are now leading the Mets by a game, and the Marlins by one and a half games as the two teams switched places in the division after the Mets defeated the Marlins. The Braves now trail the Phillies by eight and a half games as they once again defeat the Diamondbacks. The Phillies will be trying to bounce back after this hard lost while trying to find some way to score runs.