The Phillies have now lost two games in a row as Brett Myers pitches himself out of the starting rotation after being unable to get anyone out in the bottom of the third inning as the Phillies lose to the lowly Rangers, 8-7. The Rangers would take the lead in the first as Ian Kinsler hits a solo home run off of Myers’ second pitch, his thirteenth home run of the season, to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. Myers would seem to have settle down after that, while the Phillies were able to score some runs off of Rangers’ starter, Kason Gabber, in the top of the third. The inning would begin with Gabber being unable to find the strike zone, as he walks Eric Bruntlett. Jayson Werth would then get on base via a fielding error by Gabber, which would send Bruntlett to second base. Chase Utley would then get the second walk of the inning, loading the bases. Jimmy Rollins then follows with a ground out, shortstop to first, which would score Bruntlett, tying the ballgame at one apiece, while moving both Werth and Utley up a base. Pat Burrell is then intentionally walked by Gabber to reload the bases for him to face Ryan Howard. Howard would go down swinging for out number two. Pedro Feliz would then pick him out by hitting a grand slammer off of Gabber, his ninth home run of the year, scoring Werth, Utley and Burrell, while giving the Phillies what should have been a lights out 5-1 lead. The Phillies’ inning would then end with Shane Victorino grounding out. After being given such a big lead, most pitchers would then buckle down and go after the hitters. But that did not happen with Brett “I don’t like leads” Myers, as he would proceed to have a melt down on the mound in the bottom half of the third. Kinsler would greet him with a double, soon to be followed by an infield single for Michael Young. Josh Hamilton would then get an infield single off of Myers’ glove, loading the bases, with nobody out. Myers would then proceed to walk Milton Bradley, scoring Kinsler, and cutting the Phils’ lead down to 5-2. A second straight walk to David Murphy, which would score Hamilton with the Rangers’ third run of the night, would be enough for Charlie Manuel to watch as he comes out to replace a struggling Myers with Clay Condrey, and leave the bases loaded, as the Phillies now lead 5-3. Condrey would get Marlon Byrd to ground into a 5-4-3 double play to get two quick outs, while Hamilton scores on the play, to cut the lead down to 5-4 Phillies, with a runner on third, giving the Phils a chance to get out of the inning with the lead. But it was not to be, as Condrey would give up a two-run home run to rookie Chris Davis, the first home run of his career, to give the lead back to the Rangers, 6-5. The inning would finally end with Jarrod Saltalamacchia lining out to left. In the fourth, the Phillies would tie the game, as Chris Coste hits a lead off home run, his seventh of the year. The Rangers would retake the lead in the fifth, when, with one out, Bradley would hit a home run off of the foul pole for his sixteenth home run of the year. At this point, both teams’ bullpens would keep the game close until the bottom of the eighth, when, with Rudy Seanez pitching in relief of J.C. Romero, he would give up a RBI sacrifice fly to Hamilton, scoring Kinsler, who has earlier walked, and has moved to third on Young’s double, giving the Rangers an 8-6 lead. That would be the different, as, with the Rangers’ closer C.J. Wilson pitching in the ninth, he would give up a solo home run to Werth, leading off the inning, to make it an 8-7 Rangers’ lead. After getting the next two Phils’ batters out, Wilson would give up a double to Burrell and then a single to Howard, which moved pinch runner Geoff Jenkins to third, who was held there by the third base coach, instead of taking a chance of sending him home, since the ball has rolled off of shortstop Young’s glove, to tie the game. Instead, Wilson would finally end the game by getting Greg Dobbs to ground out, recording his seventeenth save of the year.
Brett Myers gets a no-decision as he self-destructs on the mound after pitching only two innings plus five batters, giving up five earned runs on five hits and walking two batters, which would end up being costly. This performance would appear to have finally taken Myers out of the starting rotation as Manuel has finally lost his patience with him. The questions now are, what are the Phillies going to do with Myers and how will this affect both the rotation and the bullpen? Clay Condrey would take the lost as he pitches two and two-thirds innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits. His record is now 1-1 with a ERA of 4.36. Ryan Madson would go an inning and a third, giving up only one hit. J.C. Romero woud follow him with a scoreless, hitting inning. Rudy Seanez would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Kason Gabbard would also pitch a no-decision, as he pitches only three and a third inning, giving up six runs, only one of which would be earned, on only four hits. Josh Rupe would get the win as he goes two and a third innings, giving up no runs on no hits. His record is now 3-1 with a 3.43 ERA. Frank Francisco would pitch a scoreless, hitless inning and a third. Eddie Guardado would pitch a hittless, scoreless inning as well. C.J. Wilson would pitch the ninth, giving up a run on three hits, recording his seventeenth save of the year.
The Phillies’ offense, inspite of actually scoring some runs, is still mired in its collective slump, as almost all of their runs would come in via the long ball, as the batters are still swinging at the pitcher’s junk, thus getting themselves out. To this problem is now added the confusion that will be caused by Myers’ final meltdown on the mound in the third inning after being given a four run lead thanks to Feliz’s earlier grand slam. No one at this point knows what is going on inside Myers’ head, as Manuel will now have to decide who to use in place of Myers for his upcoming start against the Braves in Atlanta next week, as well as for him to determine what to do now with both the rotation and the bullpen in general since it is obvious that unless the Phillies can bring up someone from within their farm system, the replacement starter will have to come from the bullpen (probably Chad Durbin), and no one knows if Myers will be working from within the bullpen, and how that will affect the rest of the National League leading bullpen. Thank you Brett Myers for creating this situation. I hope that you are proud of yourself.
The final interleague series between the Phillies (43-38) and the Rangers (41-40, 3rd American League West) will continue in Arlington, at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The game will begin at 8:05 pm Eastern (7:05 pm Central). The Phillies will be sending to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (7-5, 3.27) to end their present slide. He is coming off a recent lost against the Angels on June 22, as he would pitch seven innings, giving up only three earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 3-2 lost. He will be trying once again for his eighth victory while trying to avoid getting hit in this hitters’ friendly park. He will be counter by former-Phil Vicente Padilla (10-3, 3.74), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on June 22, as he pitched seven innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, in the Rangers’ 5-3 win. This will be his first start against his former team. He will be trying to defeat his former ballclub, while hoping that last night’s game was not a possible precurser to a Phillies’ batting resurgence.
With the lost, the Phillies’ lead drop to a game over the Marlins as the fish defeated the Diamondbacks. The Braves are now trailing the Phillies by three game, back in a tie for third place, as they defeated the Blue Jays. The Mets are also three games behind the Phillies, as they spilt their doubleheader with the Yankees, dropping the night cap at Shea Stadium. The Phillies will once again try to break out of their collective team hitting slump and try to put some distance between them and the rest of the East before their day off on Monday.
Two rain delays, and the Blue Jays’ excellent use of their bullpen, help to defeat the Phils’ in the final game of their three games interleague play series, 6-5. The lost put the Phillies in a tie for second place with the New York Mets, both teams now a full game behind the Florida Marlins, as the Mets would win their game with the New York Yankees. The Phils start the game off by taking a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, as Ryan Howard hits a two-run home run, his tenth home run of the year, off of Blue Jays’ starter, Shaun Marcum, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has gotten on base earlier with a single, while Phils’ starter Kyle Kendrick pitched a 1-2-3 first inning on twelve pitches. The two teams would then go through a rain delay which would last over two hours before resuming play. When it does, both starters would be remove by their teams, with the Phils using Chad Durbin in place of Kendrick, while the Blue Jays would counter with Shawn Camp. Both teams are then kept off the scoreboard until the bottom of the fourth inning, when the Phils’ score their third run of the ballgame on a RBI single by Carlos Ruiz, scoring Geoff Jenkins, who has also singled. But the Phils would then miss an opportunity to break the game wide open, as, with the bases loaded and two outs, Camp would get out of the inning by getting Jayson Werth to fly out. Then things would go from bad to worst, as Durbin, with two on and two outs, would give up a pitch hit, three-runs home run to Lyle Overbay, his second home run of the year, scoring Rod Barajas, who has earlier doubled, the Blue Jays’ first hit of the game, and Marco Scutaro, who has walked, tying the game at 3-3. In the bottom of the fourth, the Phils would threaten to retake the lead, as they loaded up the bases again, this time with one out, against Blue Jays’ reliever Brian Tallet. Tallet is replaced by Jason Frasor, who is able to end the Phils’ threat by getting Pedro Feliz to pop up and Ruiz to ground out. In the top of the fifth, the Blue Jays’ would take the lead, as they score three runs off of Rudy Seanez. The first two runs are knocked in on a RBI double by Shannon Stewart, scoring Aaron Hills, who has also doubled, and Matt Stairs, who has just been intenionally walked, giving the Blue Jays a 5-3 lead. Barajas would then single in Stewart, making it 6-3 Blue Jays. The Phils would get a run back in the bottom of the sixth, as Chase Utley doubles in Rollins, who has gotten on base earlier with a walk. After Howard walks, the game is once again delayed by rain. After play resumes again, the Blue Jays would replace Jesse Carlson, who has just replaced Frasor, with Cy Young award winner Ray Halladay, to face Pat Burrell. Halladay would end the threat by getting Burrell to pop up, leaving the score, 6-4 Blue Jays. The Phils would threathen for one last time in the ninth, when, with two outs, Pat Burrell would hit his tenth home run of the year, a solo shot off of B.J. Ryan, making it a 6-5 ballgame. Chris Coste would then double, putting the tying run in scoring position, as Eric Bruntlett comes up to pitch hit. Unfortunately, after fouling off several pitches, Ryan would get Bruntlett to strike out swinging, ending the ballgame, as he records his ninth save.
Kyle Kendrick, the Phils’ starter, would only go one inning because of the two hours plus rain delay, facing only three hitters as he gives up no runs on no hits. Chad Durbin would go four innings, giving up three earned runs on two hits, one of which was a pitch hit home run. Rudy Seanez, the Phils’ losing pitcher, would go one inning, giving up three earned runs on three hits. His record is now 2-3, while his ERA rises up to 2.89. J.C. Romero would pitch one inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Clay Condrey would also go an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Brad Lidge would pitch one inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Blue Jays’s starter, Shaun Marcum, like Kendrick, would only go one inning because of the long rain delay, giving up two earned runs on two hits, one of which was Ryan Howard’s home run. Shawn Camp would then pitch three innings, giving up an earned run on four hits. Brian Tallet would only go a third of an inning, giving up no runs on three hits. Jason Frasor, the Blue Jays’ winning pitcher, would go an inning and a third, giving up an earned run on no hits. Jesse Carlson would face just two batters, giving up no runs on a hit and a walk. Roy Halladay would pitch two and one-thirds innings, giving up no runs on one hits. B.J. Ryan would go an inning, giving up one earned run on two hits, as he records his ninth save of the years.
The Phils’ offense, although out hitting the Blue Jays’ thirteen hits to six, would twice leave the bases loaded, once with less than two men outs, whereby one hit at either time could’ve help them put the game out of reach. Instead, momentum shifted over to the Blue Jays, who would get to both Durbin and Seanez for their six runs in the fifth and sixth innings, thus ballooning both relievers ERAs in the process.
With the lost of their Interleague play series with the Blue Jays (23-23, 4th American League East), the Phillies (24-21) split their six games home stand, 3-3. They will now travel to Washington, D.C. to start a two cities, seven games, road trip to Washington and Houston. Their first game will be played tonight in D.C. in the Nationals’ (19-26) new ballpark, Nationals Park. The game will start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phils’ starting pitcher will be Brett Myers (2-4, 5.91), who is coming off of his worst outing of the season, as he would go only four and one-thirds innings against the Braves on May 14, giving up eight runs, six of which were earned, on nine hits, in the Phils’ 8-6 lost. He will be looking to regain his stuff as he faces the Nationals for the 28th time in his long career. In his 27 previous starts against them, including when the Nationals were the Montreal Expos, he is 7-7 lifetime, with a 4.91 ERA. The Nationals will oppose him with Tim Reddings (5-3. 3.55), who is coming off a win against the Mets on May 14, where he pitched six solid innings, giving up only an earned run on two hits, in the Nationals’ 5-3 victory. He will be trying for his sixth win of the season.
In spite of the lost, the Phillies are still trailing the Marlins by a game, as the fish lost their game to the Kansas City Royals, 9-3. The Phils are once again in a technical tie for second place with the New York Mets, .004 percentage points behind them, as the Mets once again defeated the New York Yankees, 11-2. They are a game ahead of the Braves, who have beaten the Oakland Athletics, 5-2. While the Phils play the last place Nationals tonight, the Marlins, the Mets and the Braves will all have the day off, giving the Phils a chance to gain a half game on the Marlins with a victory tonight, if Myers can get his act together and if the offense can get a hit when its needed.