The Phillies lose another series to the Mets and in the process drop out of first place as its offense seem to have vanished into thin air as it waste a very good effort by starter Jamie Moyer. Moyer, who two hit the Mets, would give up only one run, a RBI single by David Wright in the third, scoring Jose Reyes, who has earlier walked and then stole second. The Phillies would then tie it in the seventh on a solo home run by Jayson Werth, his thirteenth home run of the year. The Phillies would threathen to take the lead in the top of the eighth, when, with one out, Eric Bruntlett would hit a deep fly ball to left field that would just miss going out of the park, instead ending up on second with a double. After Mets’ starter Oliver Perez strikes out Chase Utley for the second out of the inning, he would put Pat Burrell on first with an intentional walk. Ryan Howard is then hit by the pitch, loading the bases. Perez is then taken out of the game, replaced by Aaron Heilman. Heilmann would proceed to get Werth to end the inning by flying out. In the bottom of the eight, the Mets would regain the lead as, with two men on, and two outs, Carlos Delgado would hit a two-run double, scoring Robinson Cancel, who has gotten on base earlier with a pinch hit single, and Wright, who has just been intentionally walked. But Delgado would be thrown out trying to go to third base, Burrell to Bruntlett to Chris Coste to Pedro Feliz, to finally end the inning, but after the damage has already been done. Billy Wagner would then come in the ninth to record his twenty-sixth save of the year, as the offense goes down without a fight.
Jamie Moyer would pitch seven strong innings, keeping the Mets under control as he gives up only one earned run on two hits while striking out six, as he receives a no-decision. J.C. Romero is tagged with the lost, as he pitches an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Oliver Perez would also get a no-decision as he pitches seven and two-thirds innings, giving up only an earned run on six hits while striking out twelve. Aaron Heilman will get the win, pitching just a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. His record is now 1-2 with a ERA of 4.75. Billy Wagner will record his twenty-six save of the season, giving up only a hit.
The Phillies have now dropped into second place as the offense has allowed another great performance by Jamie Moyer to go down the tube because of their lousy performances at the plate. To say that at this moment the batters might as well just phone in their at bats is an understatement. This is just not acceptable. Where in the world has happen to the passion, the desire, the drive to want to win the Eastern Division for the second straight year, among the players, that they had around this same time last year? I mean, its looking more and more like these guys should be getting ready to join the federal witness protection program so that they can escape the wrath of the angry mob of Phillies fans who are soon going to be booing their sorry ***** out of Citizens Bank Park if they continue with this lackluster playing, instead of being the team that is suppose to be the run producing nightmare of starters for other major league teams. This is just pathetic, just dreadfully pathetic!!! It is especially pathetic with the way that the batters seems to be making even the worst pitcher look like he’s the second coming of Cy Young as he pitched against them. Hitting season? I’m beginning to wonder if Charlie Manuel was speaking a bit too soon when he made that comment back in May. To quote the old professor, Casey Stengel, “Can’t anybody out there play this game?” AAGGGGRRRHHHHH. Will some one please pass me the Alka Seltzer?
The now second place Phillies (54-48) will come home for a three games series with the Braves (48-53). The first game will be played tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. Kyle Kendrick (8-4, 4.87) will get the start, coming off of an awful performance against the Marlins on July 19, where he would only last four and one-third innings, giving up seven earned runs on ten hits, in the Phillies’ 9-5 lost. He will be facing the Braves for the third time this year, with a 2-0 record plus a no-decision, which the Phillies also won, as he would pitch a combined total of seventeen and one-third innings, giving up only eight earned runs on seventeen hits. Lifetime against the Braves, he is 3-0 with a 4.13 ERA in five starts. He will be trying to record his ninth win, while trying to get the Phils back on track. The Braves’ starter will be Jair Jurrjens (9-5, 3.22), who is coming off a lost against the Nationals on July 19, where he would pitch six and a third inning, giving up five earned runs on eight hits, in the Braves’ 8-2 lost. He has already pitched a game against the Phillies so far this year, losing to them on July 3, as he pitched seven innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits. He will be trying for his tenth win of the season while seeing if he has better luck this time against the Phillies’ batters.
The Phillies now trail the first place Mets by a game. They are presently a half-game ahead of the Marlins, who are getting ready to play the Cubs later today. The Braves trails the Phillies by five and a half games, as they have the day off today, before coming into Philly for a three games weekend series. The Phillies will be trying to regroup this weekend, trying to prove that they are indeed a second half team, although their first two series of the second half would seem to say otherwise.
The Phillies leaves Atlanta with a sweep and a surprising winning road trip while Cole Hamels just missed pitching a complete game shut out as the Phillies defeated the Braves, 4-1. The Phillies would score their first run in the first inning as Braves’ starter Jair Jurrjens gives up a solo home run to Chase Utley, his league leading twenty-fourth home run of the year, making it 1-0 Phillies. The Phillies would make it 2-0 in the fourth, when, with one out, Pedro Feliz would hit a RBI single, scoring Pat Burrell, who had gotten on base earlier with a double. The Phillies would increase their lead to 3-0 in the sixth when Ryan Howard would hit his twenty-second home of the year, a solo shot to left. The fourth and last Phillies’ run would come in in the seventh on a solo hime run by Feliz, his tenth home run of the year. While the Phillies were scoring their runs, Hamels was dominating the Braves, keeping them scoreless for eight innings, giving up only three hits during that time, while striking out six of the seven Braves that he would strike out that night. This would all change in the ninth. Chipper Jones would start the inning off with a double to center. Hamels would then get out the next two Braves, Mark Teixeira via a ground ball, short to first, that would keep Jones at second, and then striking out Omar Infante for his seventh strike out of the game. But, he would then lose the shut out as he gives up a RBI double to Brian McCann, a ball that got past a diving Howard, scoring Jones, making the score 4-1 Phillies. That would be it for Hamels, as Charlie Manuel takes him out of the game and replaces him with Tom Gordon. Gordon would end the game on one pitch as he gets the slumping Jeff Francoeur to fly out to left, as he records his second save of the year.
Cole Hamels would get the win as he goes eight and two-thirds innings, giving up only an earned run on five hits, while striking out seven. His record is now 9-5 with a 3.22 ERA. Tom Gordon would pitch to only one batter as he records his second save of the year. Jair Jurrjens would take the lost, as he goes seven innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits. His record is now 8-4 with a 3.09 ERA. Will Ohman and Mike Gonzalez would both pitch a hitless/scoreless inning.
While the Phillies’ offense would be limited tonight to only eight hits, they would mostly be for extra-bases (1 (2B), 1 (3B), 3 (HR)). And, with Cole Hamels on the mound that would be more than enough for him to work with. With the sweep, the Phillies will end up with a winning road trip, something that was now expected with the way the Phillies were batting in both Oakland and Arlington, Texas. They will now come home to begin a four games series with the Mets.
The first place Phillies (47-39) will now come home to Citizens Bank Park for a four games Independence Weekend series with the third place Mets (42-43). The first game will be played tomorrow night, starting at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be J.A.Happ (0-0, -.–), who has just been called up from Lehigh Valley, where he has went 5-6 with a ERA of 3.54. He will be taking Brett Myers place in the rotation, hoping to pitch well enough to stay with the main team.The Mets will send out Johan Santana (7-7, 3.01), who is coming off a loss to the Yankees on June 28, where he would pitch six innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits, in the Mets’ 3-2 lost. He has lost his last three games in a row and four of his last five, with a no-decision in a game that the Mets would also lose. Santana will for the sixth straight time be trying for his eighth win of the season, while hoping that he can stop the Phillies just reawaken offense.
The Phillies’ lead over the Marlins is presently at two and a half games, as the Marlins have just lost to the Rockies in extra-innings. Their lead over the Mets is presently at four and a half games, as the Mets have just defeated the Cardinals in St.Louis. The Phillies, with the win, are now leading the Braves by seven games. As the Phillies come home for Independence Day, they hope to celebrate it by producing some fireworks of their own against the Mets.
Brett Myers’ main nemesis this year, the long ball, has struck again with a vengence as he gives up three home runs that were to end up being the difference as the Phillies would lose to the Marlins, 5-4. The damage would begin in the very first inning, in fact with the very first Marlins’ batter, as Hanley Ramirez would hit Myers’ first pitch out of the ballpark for his fifteenth home run of the season to give the Marlins a quick 1-0 lead. The Marlins would increase their lead two batters later, as, with Jeremy Hermida on first via a walk, Jorge Cantu would hit a two-run home run for his twelfth home run of the year, to give the Marlins a 3-0 lead. The game would then settle down to become a pitchers’ duel between Myers and Marlins’ starter Ricky Nolasco until the top of the fifth, when, with Myers on first via a Ramirez throwing error, Jimmy Rollins would hit his own two-run home run, his fifth home run of the year, to make it 3-2 Marlins. Unfortunatley for Myers, he would give those two runs right back, as he gives up his second two-run home run of the night, this time to Mike Jacobs, hitting his fifteenth home run of the season, scoring Cantu, who has earlier doubled, to make the score 5-2 Marlins. The Phillies would get a run back in the sixth, as Greg Dobbs hits an RBI single, scoring Pat Burrell, who has reached base earlier on a Luis Gonzalez fielding error, to make it a 5-3 ballgame. Two innings later, in the eighth, Burrell would make it a 5-4 game as he hit a solo home run, his sixteenth home run of the year. The Phils would be unable to develop an effective rally in the ninth as Kevin Gregg records his twelfth save of the year.
Brett Myers would take the lost as he got hurt once again by the long ball, as he would be able to go only five and one third innings, giving up all five earned runs on seven hits. His record is now 3-8 with a ERA of 5.34. Clay Condrey would pitch one and two thirds innings of relief, giving up no runs on no hits. J.C. Romero would go a full inning, also giving up no runs on no hits. Ricky Nolasco would accept the victory as he defeats the Phils for the second time this year, as he would pitch six innings, giving up three runs, none of which were earned thanks to a couple of errors, on four hits. His record is now 6-4 with an ERA of 4.63. Doug Waechter would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Joe Nelson would pitch two-thirds of an inning, gving up one run on one hit. Kevin Gregg would pitch one and one third innings, getting his twelfth save, as he gives up no runs on one hit.
The first place Phillies (39-27) lost their first game in five tries, thanks to being unable this time to come back from starting off trailing their opponent. They will continue their three games series with the second place Marlins (35-29) with another night game at Dolphin Stadium. The game will start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Cole Hamels (6-4, 3.36), who is coming off his second complete game victory as he defeated the Reds on June 5, as he pitched all nine innings, giving up no runs on three hits, in the Phils’ 5-0 win. His career record against the fish is 2-3 with a ERA of 5.46 in five starts, which would include his recent lost to them on May 31, where he would only eight innings as he got rocked by the fish for seven earned runs on eight hits, in the Phils’ 7-3 lost. He hopes to get even for his earlier lost while continuing his most recent scoreless string by keeping the fish off the board this time. His opponent will be Andrew Miller (4-5, 5.65), who is coming off of a lost to the Reds on June 6, where he would only pitch three and one third innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits, in the Marlins’ 11-3 lost. He has already pitched one game against the Phils this year, pitching a no-decision on June 1, pitching only five innings, giving up three earned runs on three hits in the Marlins’ 7-5 lost. He hope to do as well as he did in his previous outing, while trying to keep from giving the Phils a chance to crush him.
The lost leaves the Phils now leading the Marlins by three full games. They are presently still leading the Braves by six and a half games as they have just lost to the Cubs, 10-5. The Mets are trailing them by seven games, although they are presently trailing the Diamondbacks in the top of the ninth. The Phillies plan to rebound from the lost and try to win the series so that they can leave Florida with a five games lead over the Marlins.
Edit: The Mets have just lost to the Diamondbacks, so they are still trailing the Phillies by seven and a half games.
The Phillies would use the long ball to win their second straight game over the Braves in sweltzering Atlanta, 6-2. The first Phillies’ run would come in the fifth on a solo home run by Carlos Ruiz, his second home run of the year, making it 1-0 Phillies. The Phillies would increase their lead in the sixth on another solo home run, this one by Pat Burrell, his fifteenth home run of the year, to make it 2-0 Phillies. The Braves would tie the game in their half of the sixth on a two-run home run by the red hot Chipper Jones, hitting his fifteenth home run of the year, scoring Kelly Johnson, who has gotten on base earlier with a single. The Phillies would retake the lead in the eighth as Chase Utley would hit a RBI triple, scoring Shane Victorino, who has earlier walked, to give the Phils a 3-2 lead. Ryan Howard would quickly follow with a RBI single, scoring Utley, to make it 4-2 Phils. In the ninth inning, Jimmy Rollins would hit a monster two-run shot out of the park, his first home run since coming off the disabled list, for his fourth home run of the year, scoring Ruiz, who has earlier walked. That would be the ballgame as Brad Lidge would come in to pitch the ninth in a non-save role, striking out the side to end the game.
Kyle Kendrick would get a no-decision as he constantly flirted with disaster as he would pitch five and one third innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits, and walking five. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. J.C. Romero would record the victory, going two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. His record is now 4-1 with an ERA of 1.59. Tom Gordon would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on one hits and striking out three. Brad Lidge, in a none save situation, would strike out all three men that he would face. Jo-Jo Reyes would be the losing pitcher, going seven and one thirds innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits and striking out seven. His record is now 2-4 with a 4.80 ERA. Royce Ring would only faced one batter, giving up a base hit. Jeff Bennett would pitch an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Phil Stockman would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits.
The Phillies will conclude their three games series in Atlanta with an afternoon game from Turner Field. The game will start at 1:30 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Adam Eaton, (2-3, 4.63), who is coming off of his second straight victory, as he defeated the Reds on June 3, going six and two-thirds innings, giving up only one earned run on three hits, in the Phils’ 3-2 win. Eaton will be trying for his third straight win and his fourth good start in a row. The Braves will counter with Jorge Campillo (2-0, 1.79), who is coming off of a no-decision against the Marlins on June 3, where he would only pitch four innings, giving up four earned runs on sixth hits, in the Braves’ 5-4 win. He has pitched against the Phils’ two other times this year. both times in relief, going a combined three and one third innings, giving up no runs on sixth hits, His will be trying to see if he can stop the Phillies’ bats, while giving the Braves’ bats a chance to salvage at least one game in the series.
The Phillies are now twelve games over .500, while having a three games winning streak. The first place Phillies are still leading the Marlins by three and a half games, thanks to their victory over the Reds. The Braves are now trailing the Phils by five and a half games with the lost. The Mets are trailing the Phils by six and a half games with their lost to the Padres.
Brett Myers flirted with a no-hitter for six and two-thirds innings before it was finally broken up by a Joey Votto double. Although it would be the only hit that he would give up in seven and two-third innings of work, it would be a very costly one as it would knock in Brandon Phillips, who had earlier gotten on base with a walk, one of six that Myers would give up, and the most costly, giving the Reds a 1-0 lead. Before the Reds would score in the seventh, Myers and Edinson Volquez would be involved in a pitcher’s duel, with neither offense being able to do anything against either pitcher, with the Reds being unable to get a hit and the Phils being unable to get a clutch hit to knock in a run. In the top of the ninth, with J.C. Romero still pitching in relief of Myers, the Reds would get an insurance run as Votto would hit his second RBI double of the night, once again scoring Philips, who this time has gotten on base with a single, to make it 2-0 Reds. Francisco Cordero, the Reds’ closer, would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth innning, to record his twelfth save of the year.
In spite of a good pitching performance, Brett Myers would take the lost as he goes seven and one-third innings, giving up only one run on one hit, as he struck out eight while walking six, one of whom would score. His record is now 3-7 with a 5.13 ERA. J.C. Romero would pitch an inning, giving up one run on two hits. Ryan Madson would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Edinson Volquez would get the win as he would keep the Phillies’ bats under wrap for seven innings, giving up no runs on two hits, while striking out eight Phils. His record is now 8-2 with an ERA of 1.32. Bill Bray would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Francisco Cordero would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hits to record his twelfth save of the year.
Ken Griffey, Jr. came into the game in the eighth inning, pinch hitting for the Reds’ starter Volquez. He would be once again walked, which would produce another series of boos from the fans, who wanted to see him at least attempt to hit his 600th home run, although he was able to foul off at least one pitch in this at bat.
The Phillies’ offense was unable to do anything tonight, as Volquez once again refused to give in to them, as he and the relievers that followed him shut out the Phils’ for only the third time this year. The Phils are now back to nine games over .500 as they are now 7-2 on the home stand, with the last game to be played tomorrow afternoon.
The final game of the home stand will be played tomorrow afternoon between the Phillies (35-26) and the Reds (29-31, 5th National League Central) at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 1:05 pm Eastern. The Phils’ starter will be Cole Hamels (5-4, 3.73), who is coming off his second straight bad start, this time against the Marlins on May 31, where he would only go five and two-thirds innings, getting hit for seven earned runs on eight hits, in the Phils’ 7-3 lost. This will be Hamel’s second start against the Reds, having defeated them back on April 7, where he would go seven innings, giving up only two earned runs on five scattered hits, in the Phils’ 5-3 victory. Hamels will be trying to regain his winning form while trying to help the Phillies end the home stand on a very high note. The Reds will counter with Homer Bailey (0-0, -.–), who will be making his first start, since being called up from Triple-A Louisville. While pitching for Louisville, he was 4-4 with a 4.15 ERA in twelve starts. He will be trying for his first win since coming back to the Reds while hoping to keep the Phils’ batters quiet.
With the lost and with the Marlins’ defeat of the Braves, the Phillies are now leading the fish by only one and a half game. The lost keeps the Braves three and a half games back, while the Mets’ victory over the Giants also makes them three and a half game behind, while they leap back ahead of the Braves. The Phillies will be trying to win the last game on their home stand to keep their present lead over the rest of the league while leaving Philadelphia on a high note before they head for Atlanta for their three games series with the Braves.
Pat Burrell’s two-run home run would be the different as Adam Eaton pitches a great six and two-thirds innings to record his second victory of the year as the Phillies defeat the Reds, 3-2. The Reds would score the game’s first run, when, in the third, Edwin Encarnacion would hit his tenth home run of the year while leading off the inning, giving the Reds a quick 1-0 lead. The Phillies would quickly come back to tie the game in their half of the inning, when Chase Utley, who was unable to hit a home run tonight, would hit a RBI single, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who has gotten on base earlier via a force out. The score would stay that way for the next couple of innings as Adam Eaton and Reds’ starter Aaron Harang would find themselves in the middle of a pitcher’s dual. The dual would end though, when, with a runner on second, and one out, Pat Burrell would hit his fourteenth home run of the season, a two-run shot which would score Utley, who has earlier doubled, to give the Phillies a 3-1 lead. In the eighth, the Reds would cut the lead to 3-2, as Javier Valentin hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Encarnacion, who has earlier tripled off of Tom Gordon. After Gordon is able to get out of further trouble in the eighth, Brad Lidge is handed the ball. In spite of giving up two walks, Lidge would get his fifteenth save in as many chances by getting Encarnacion to fly out to end the game.
Adam Eaton is the winning pitcher as he records his second win of the season as he goes six and two-thirds inning, giving up only one earned run on just three hits. His record is now 2-3 with a ERA of 4.63. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits, walking a batter and striking out one. Tom Gordon would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Brad Lidge would pitched the ninth, giving up no runs on no hits, as he records his fifteenth save of the year. Aaron Harang is the losing pitcher for the Reds, as he would pitch six innings plus two batters, giving up three earned runs on nine hits. His record is now 2-8 wirh a 3.86 ERA. Rookie pitcher Danny Herrera would make his major league debut by coming in the seventh inning in relief of Harang with two runners on base with no one out, and would get out of the inning, leaving the bases loaded, as he gives up no runs on no hits. Jared Burton would also pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hits.
The Phillies’ offense would get nine hits in the game, four of them being for extra-bases (3 (2B), 1 (HR)), but they would be held down to three runs as they were unable to break the game wide open in the seventh. Chase Utley was unable to hit a home run for the six straight game, but he would get an RBI for the ninth straight game in a row. Also, Eaton has pitched another good game, which led to another victory for him. It would appear that he has finally turned a corner. Let us hope that it stays that way. The Phillies have now won their third strength game in a row, their eighth in nine games and their eleventh in their last fifteen games. They are also now ten games over .500 for the first time this season. Ken Griffey, Jr. did not start for the second straight game, but did he come into the game in the eighth inning against Tom Gordon, who has already given up six home runs to him, to try and make it seven in an attempt to tie the game with one swing of the bat. He is instead walked by Gordon, who refused to give him something to hit. So, Junior will be trying again to hit number 600 tomorrow.
The third game in the four games series between the Phillies (35-25) and the Reds (28-31, 5th National League Central) will be played at Citizens Bank Park tomorrow night at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils’ starter will be Brett Myers (3-6, 5.52), who is coming off a recent win against the Marlins, where he would go eight innings, giving up only three earned runs, all coming in the first inning, on six scattered hits, while striking out eleven. This will be his second start against the Reds, having lost his first start against them back on April 6, as he would go five innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits, in the Phillies’ 8-2 lost. He will be trying to improve his record while continuing what he did in the last seven innings of his last start. His opponent will be Endison Volquez (7-2, 1.46), who is coming off a recent no-decision against the Braves on May 30, where he would pitch six innings, giving up only two earned runs on five hits, in the Reds’ 3-2 win. He has already pitched against the Phillies this season, as he was Myers’ opponent in the April 6 game. He would recieve the victory as he would go five and one-third innings, giving up only one earned run on five scattered hits. He will be trying to put a stop to the Phillies’ offensive juggernaut while hoping that they won’t light him up.
The first place Phillies have increased their lead to two and one half games over the Marlins as they would loss once again to the Braves. The Braves, with their win over the fish, stay three and a half games behind the Phils. The Phils are presently leading the Mets by four and a half games as they have just won their game against the Giants. The Phillies will be trying to continue their winning way and to further increase their lead against the opponents.
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.