A sixteen-hit attack, including four from Ryan Howard, welcomes Hunter Pence’s arrival to the line-up as the Phils’ defeat the Pirates, 7-4.
The Phils took the lead in the second as Ryan Howard lead-off the inning with a home run, his twenty-first home run of the season, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Phils then made it a 2-0 lead in the third as, with one man out, Jimmy Rollins hits a solo home run, his thirteenth home run of the year. The Phils then added to their lead three batters later as, with two men on, and with still one man out, Howard hits an RBI double, knocking in Shane Victorino, who had earlier singled, then stole second base, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead, while sending Chase Utley, who had just walked, on to third. The Pirates cut down the Phils’ lead to 3-2 in the fourth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Pedro Alvarez hits a two-run home run, his third home run of the year, knocking in Brandon Wood, who had just singled. The Phils got a run back in their half of the fourth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Utley hits a single, that allowed Cliff Lee, who had earlier singled, then stopped at second base on Rollins’ single, to reach third, while Rollins, who had just singled, would stop at second base, before Lee would score when right fielder Steve Pearce committed a fielding error, giving the Phils a 4-2 lead. The Phils then made it a 5-2 lead as Howard hits an RBI single, scoring Rollins, while sending Utley on to third. The Phils then added to their lead in the seventh as, with one man on, and with one man out, Carlos Ruiz hits an RBI double, scoring Placido Polanco, who had just singled, giving the Phils a 6-2 lead. The Pirates then tried to rally in the eighth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Neil Walker hits an RBI single, knocking in Pedro Ciriaco, who had earlier gotten on base with a bunt single, moved up to second base on Matt Diaz’s walk, then went to third on Andrew McCutchen’s force out grounder, 6-4, as Diaz is wiped out at second for the inning’s first out, making it a 6-3 Phils’ lead. Two batters later, after Pearce had hit into a force out, 5-4, wiping out Walker at second base for the inning’s second out, while sending McCutchen on to third, Wood made it a 6-4 Phils’ lead as he hits an RBI single, scoring Wood, while Pearce would stop at second base. The Phils got a run back in their half of the eighth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Hunter Pence hits an RBI single, scoring Victorino, who had earlier hit a lead-off triple, while sending Howard, who had just been intentionally walked, on to second base, giving the Phils a 7-4 lead. That would be the final score as Ryan Madson recorded his eighteenth save of the year as he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out the side.
Cliff Lee (10-7, 3.14) finally got his tenth win of the year, as he went seven and one-third innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out eleven. Antonio Bastardo would received his eighth hold of the season as he pitched a third of an inning, striking outn the only man that he would face. Ryan Madson recorded his eighteenth save of the season as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out the side. James McDonald (7-5, 4.17) took the lost as he pitched five innings, giving up five runs on ten hits and two walks, while striking out five. Daniel McCutchen pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Chris Resop pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out one. Jose Veras pitched an inning, giving up a run on three hits and a walk.
The Phils had sixteen hits in the ballgame, with Ryan Howard leading the team with four hits, a single, two doubles, and a solo home run, being a triple short of hitting the cycle, as he knocked in three runs, while raising his batting average up to .254. Jimmy Rollins (Single, Home Run, RBI), Shane Victorino (Single, Triple), Placido Polanco (Singles), Carlos Ruiz (Single, Double, RBI) and Cliff Lee (Singles), all followed with two hits apiece. Chase Utley (Single) and Hunter Pence (Single, RBI) had the other two Phils’ hits. The seventh Phil run scored on a Pirates error.
The Phils (67-39, 1st East) will conclude their series with the Pirates (54-51, 3rd Central) with an afternoon game at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 1:35 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Vance Worley (7-1, 2.02), who is coming off a complete game win against the Giants on July 26, as he gave up just two runs on three hits and a walk, while striking out five, in the Phils’ 7-2 win. He will be trying to give the Phils a sweep. The Pirates will counter with Jeff Karstens (8-5, 2.41), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on July 26, as he went five innings, giving upm three runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out three in the Pirates’ 4-3 extra-innings lost. He will be out to keep the Pirates from being swept. The Phils will be out to end their successful home stand with a sweep.
Spring training ends on a low note for the Phils as they lose to the Pirates, 4-1.
The Pirates took a 2-0 lead in the second as, with one man on, and with one man out, Pedro Alvarez hits a two-run home run, his second home run of the spring, knocking in Lyle Overbay, who had earlier doubled. The Phils cut the Pirates lead to 2-1 in their half of the second as, with one man on base, and with one man out, Wilson Valdez hits an RBI ground out, 3-1, knocking in Ben Francisco, who had earlier reached based on a two-base throwing error by third baseman Alvarez, then moved up to third on Carlos Ruiz’s ground out, 6-3. The Pirates then increased their lead in the sixth as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Jordy Mercer hits an RBI single, scoring Steve Pearce, who had earlier doubled, making it a 3-1 Pirates’ lead. The Pirates added an insurance run in the ninth as, with two men on, and with two men out, John Bowker hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Josh Rodriguez, who had earlier singled, then went to third on pinch hitter Josh Harrison’s single, giving the Pirates a 4-1 lead, while moving Harrison, who had earlier singled, up to second base. That would be the final score as the Phils were unable to develop a rally in the bottom of the ninth.
Cole Hamels (1-2, 6.67) took the lost as he pitched three innings, giving up two runs on four hits, while he struck out three. Jose Contreras pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while stiking out one. Joe Blanton pitched three innings, giving up a run on four hits, while striking out three batters. Kyle Kendrick pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Juan Perez pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on three hits. Antonio Bastardo pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Charlie Morton (2-0, 2.63) got the win as he pitched five innings, giving up an unearned run on one hit and two walks, while striking out two. Michael Crotta picked up his third spring hold as he pitched a scoreless inning, while striking out a batter. Chris Resop recorded his fourth spring hold as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Joel Hanrahan recorded his third hold of the spring, as he gives up a hit. Jared Hughes received his first save of the spring as he pitched a scoreless ninth, walking a batter.
The Phils had only two hits in the game, a single by Jimmy Rollins and a triple by Pete Orr. Wilson Valdez knocked in the only Phil run on a ground out.
The Phils ended the spring with a 21-14 record.
The Phils will begin the 2011 season with a three-game set at Citizens Bank Park against the Houston Astros, starting on April 1, weather permitting. The first game, opening day, is to begin about 1:05 pm Eastern Daylight Time. The Phils’ starter will be their ace, 2010 NL Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay, who is coming off a 21-10 season, with an ERA of 2.44. He will be trying to continue his 2010 season, and his well pitched spring by trying to start the Phils’ 2011 season with a win at home. The Astros will counter with ex-Phil Brett Myers, who is coming off a 14-8 record during his first season with Houston, with a 3.14 ERA. He will be looking for his second win against his old team.
The Phils come back in their half of the ninth to take a 4-3 lead, only to watch it disappear in the bottom of the ninth as Brad Lidge commits his league leading ninth blown save of the year as the Phils lose to lowly Pirates, 6-4. Their lead in the NL East remains at seven games as the Braves lost, while the Marlins win.
The Phils took a quick 1-0 lead as Jimmy Rollins lead-off the game by hitting the first pitch into right center field for a lead-off home run, his sixteenth home run of the year. The Pirates would tie it up at one-all in the second as Ryan Doumit hits a lead-off home run of his own, his eighth home run of the season. The Phils regain the lead in the third as, Rollins hits his second lead-off home run of the night, also off the first pitch, his seventeenth home run of the season, giving the Phils a 2-1 lead. In the sixth, the Pirates took the lead as, with a runner on base, and with two men out, Steve Pearce hits a two-run home run, knocking in Doumit, who had earlier walked, giving the Pirates a 3-2 lead. In the ninth, the Phils would tie the game up at three-all as, with one man on, and with one out, pinch hitter Ben Francisco hits an RBI double, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier doubled. Two batters later, with a runner on second, and now with two men out, Shane Victorino hits an RBI triple, scoring Francisco, and giving the Phils a 4-3 lead. In the bottom of the ninth, the Phils gave the ball to their closer Brad Lidge, who was pitching for the fourth straight game, to end the game. Sadly, that did not happen. Luis Cruz started the inning off with a single. Cruz would then move up to second on a wild pitch. Pinch runner Brian Bixler then replaces Cruz at second base. Pinch hitter Brandon Moss then hits an RBI single to right, that Jayson Werth at first had a problem handling, before he threw it to the plate, too late to get Bixler, who, at one point, had a late start, before scoring the tying run, making it a four-four ballgame, as Lidge blew his ninth save of the season. On the play, Moss would move up to second base on Werth’s error. Andrew McCutchen then came to the plate, before he hit a 1-0 pitch into the center field seats, his eighth home run of the season, as he gave the Pirates the 6-4 walk-off win, as he scored Moss before him.
Joe Blanton received a no-decision as he had another quality start, as he gave up three runs on six hits and two walks, while he struck out seven, in six innings of work. Tyler Walker pitched two scoreless innings, giving up just two walks, as he struck out two. Brad Lidge took the lost as he blew his ninth save of the season, as he faced three batters, getting none of them out, as he gave up three runs on three hits and a wild pitch. His record is now 0-6 with an ERA of 7.33. Ross Ohlendorf also received a no-decision, as he pitched six and a third innings, giving up two runs on five hits and three walks, as he struck out six. Joel Hanrahan converted his eighth hold as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, striking out a batter. Phil Dumatrait recorded his first hold, as he also pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit. Jesse Chavez pitched a third of an inning as he recorded his eleventh hold, striking out a batter. Matt Chapps blew his fourth save of the year before getting the win as he pitched an inning, giving up two runs on three hits. His record is now 3-7 with an ERA of 6.38.
The Phils had nine hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley leading the team with two hits each, with both of Rollins’ hits being solo home runs and one of Utley’s being a double. Shane Victorino, Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz, Eric Bruntlett and Ben Francisco had the Phils’ other five hits, with Victorino’s hits being a triple, knocking in a run, while Howard, Ruiz, Bruntlett and Francisco’s hits were all doubles, with Francisco knocking in a run. All but one of the Phils hits last night were for extra-bases, although the Phils did not get a key hit until the top of ninth, when they got two doubles and a triple to knock in what was thought to be the winning run, until Brad Lidge came in and lost the ballgame on six pitches. Charlie, Charlie, Charlie, when are you going to pull the trigger on Lidge? Yes, he helped the team win the World Series last season, but he is a disaster this year, and he could become a major detriment to the team’s chances of going deep into the playoffs this season, if something isn’t done.
The Phillies (72-51, 1st National League East) continue their three-games series with the Pirates (52-71, 6th National League Central) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at PNC Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils starter will be Cole Hamels (7-8, 4.78), who is coming off a lost against the Mets on August 21, where he went only five innings, giving up four runs on ten hits, while striking out six, in the Phils’ 4-2 lost. The Phils are hoping that he can come around against the Bucos. The Pirates will counter with Paul Maholm (7-7, 4.74), who is coming off a win against the Brewers on August 19, where he went seven and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on eight hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Pirates’ 3-1 win. He will be trying to improve his overall record. The Phillies plan to put what happened to them last night behind them, while hoping that Hamels can regain his stuff while pitching against the Pirates.
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.