For the fourth time in as many start, Cliff Lee dominates the opposing batters, this time by pitching a complete game two-hitter, as he allowed in only an unearned run, as the Phils defeat the D-backs, 8-1. They increase their lead over the Marlins to five-and-a-half games as the fish lose to the Astros.
The Phils took the lead in the third as, with a runner on first, and with one out, Chase Utley hits a two-run home run to center field, his twenty-fifth home run of the season, scoring ahead of him Shane Victorino, who had just walked, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. The D-backs would cut the Phils’ lead in half in the fourth as, with a man on third base, and with one man out, Stephen Drew hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Ryan Roberts, who had earlier reached base on a Pedro Feliz fielding error as he misplayed the ball, going to second on the error, then reaching third on Augie Ojeda’s ground out, 4-3, making it 2-1 Phils. That would turn out to be as much offense as the D-backs will be able to mustard. In the fifth, the Phils would bust the game wide open as, with two men on, and with one man out, Ryan Howard hit a three-run bomb into left center field, his thirty-first home run of the year, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier double, and had gone to third on Victorino’s single, and Victorino, who had earlier singled, to give the Phils a 5-1 lead. The Phils then made it 6-1 as Jayson Werth followed Howard with a solo home run, his twenty-sixth home run of the season. In the top of the sixth, with one man out, pinch hitter Chad Tracy got on base with a pinch hit single, ending Lee’s no-hit bit at five and a third innings, before being stranded at first as the next two D-back hitters flew out to right (Roberts) and struck out looking (Ojeda). The Phils would increase their lead to 7-1 in the bottom half of the inning as, with a man on second, and with two men out, Victorino hits an RBI double, scoring Lee, who had earlier got on base with a single, and then went to second on a wild pitch. In the seventh,the Phils added another run as, with one man out, Werth hits a solo home run, his second of the night and his twenty-seventh home run of the year, making it an 8-1 Phils’ lead. That would be more than enough for Lee, as he would only allow two more base runners after giving up the single, a hit batter in the top of the seventh (Rusty Ryal) and a single in the eighth (Alex Romero), mowing down the D-backs in the ninth inning with a fly out to right (Josh Whitesell), a fly out to left (Drew) and a strike out swinging (Mark Reynolds), as he recorded a two-hitter, and his fourth straight victory since becoming a Phil and his seventh straight win in his last seven starts.
Cliff Lee picked up the win as he pitched a complete game, his second since joining the Phils, as he gave up an unearned run on two hits and a hit batter, while striking out eleven batters, tying a career high. His record is now 11-9 (4-0) with an ERA of 2.72 (0.82). Dan Haren took the lost as he lasted only five innings, giving up six runs on nine hits and a walk, while striking out six. His record is now 12-8 with a 2.74 ERA. Clay Zavada pitched one and a third innings, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out two. Juan Gutierrez pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on one hit, while he struck out one. Blaine Boyer pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, as he struck out a batter.
The Phils had thirteen hits in the game, with Jayson Werth leading the way with three hits, with two of his hits being solo home runs, raising his average to .267. Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, and yes, Cliff Lee, followed with two hits apiece, with one of Shane’s hits being an RBI double, while one of Utley’s hits was a two-run home run. Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez and Paul Boko had the other four Phils’ hits, with Rollins’ being a double, and Howard’s being a three-run bomb which broke the game wide open. All but one of the Phils’ run came via the long ball, something the Phils do very well, but they will need to rely on less if they hope to win their second straight league title and world series championship.
The Phillies (68-49, 1st National League East) will conclude their short home stand with the Diamondbacks (54-67, 4th National League West) with a night game. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm. The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (7-6, 3.88), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on August 14, where he pitched seven innings, giving up just two runs, only one of which was earned, on seven hits and a walk, while striking out two, in the Phils’ 3-2 win. He will be trying for his first win in about a month, while also going for the series sweep. He will be opposed by Doug Davis (7-10, 3.59), who is coming off a no-decision of his own against the Dodgers on August 15, as he went six innings, giving up two runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out two, in the D-backs’ 4-3 win. He will be trying to prevent the sweep. The Phils will be trying to end the short home stand on a positive note, before going onto the road to face the hurting Mets for four games, and then the lowly Pirates for three, with a good chance to increase their lead in the East over the Marlins by the time they come back home.
After being embarrassed by Jon Lester and Boston Red Sox pitching yesterday afternoon, the Phillies’ batters decided to take their frustrations out on the Astros by crushing them today via the long ball, winning by the score of 13-3.
Chan Ho Park started for the Phils today, making it harder for Uncle Charlie to decide on either him, or J.A. Happ, as the team’s fifth starter, by pitching a good game, as he gave up only two runs, only one of which was earned, on six hits and a walk while striking out seven Astros in five and two-thirds innings of work. Chad Durbin relieved him in the sixth, giving up the final Astros run on a solo home run to Edwin Maysonet. His line would be one run on one hit in a third of an inning. Clay Condrey, Mike Koplove and Cedrick Bower would each pitch an inning, giving up only two hits (one apiece by Koplove and Bower) with a strikeout (Condrey). Park spring record is now 2-0 with an ERA of 2.53.
The Phillies’ bats collected fourteen hits this afternoon, with four of them being home runs. Eric Bruntlett would lead the attack with three hits, followed by Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins who each had two hits. Howard, Bruntlett and Rollins had three of the Phillies’ home runs, with both Bruntlett and Howard’s being two-run shots. Miguel Cairo, Greg Dobbs, Raul Ibanez, Geoff Jenkins, Shane Victorino, Carlos Ruiz and Pablo Ozuno had the other Phillies’ hit, with Ruiz’s hit being the final Phillies’ home run, another two-run shot, while Jenkins’ hit was a double. Bruntlett had four RBIs in the game, Ruiz knocked in three runs, Howards and Dobbs brought home two and Rollins knocked in one.
The next Phillies Grapefruit League game will be tomorrow night at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida against the Toronto Blue Jays. Game time is 7:05 pm Eastern.
Yesterday afternoon, at Bright House Field, the Phillies were unable to knock in any runs when they needed to as they fall to the Boston Red Sox, 3-1, in Grapefruit League play. Joe Blanton started the game for the Phils and pitched a good game, despite taking the lose. Blanton pitched six and a third innings, giving up two runs on four hits, with one of them being a solo home run to Chris Carter in the second inning, and a walk while striking out four. Scott Eyre relieved him in the seventh, pitching two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men that he would face, with one of them being a strike out. Chad Durbin followed him for an inning, giving up a run on one hit, Jacoby Ellsbury’s solo home run in the eighth, as he struck out two. Ryan Madson then took the mound, pitching a scoreless inning, as he gave up two hits while striking out one. Blanton’s spring record is now 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA.
The Phillies’ batters had eight hits in the game, with Raul Ibanez leading the team with three, as he raised his spring training batting average up to .290. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Pablo Ozuna, Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz had the other five hits. Ryan Howard knocked in the only Phillies’ run, bringing in Rollins, as twice in the games the Phils would be unable to score any runs when they had the bases loaded.
The next Phillies’ spring training game, against the Houston Astros at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, is presently in progress, with the Phils leading 3-2, after three innings.
In Grapefruit League play yesterday afternoon, the Phils finally end their losing streak as they defeat the Astros, 5-2. Pitching prospect Carlos Carrasco started the game for the Phillies and recaptured his poise as he pitched three strong innings, giving up only a run on four hits and two walks while striking out four. Dave Borkowski followed, pitching an inning, giving up no runs on no hits as he walked two batters and struck out one. Andrew Carpenter went to the mound next, giving up a run, a Mark Saccomanno solo home run, on three hits and four strike outs as he pitched four innings. Mike Koplove pitched the final inning, giving up no runs on one hit while recording one strike out. Koplove records a save while Carrasco gets the victory, with his spring training record rising to 2-1 as his ERA lowers to 6.30.
Meanwhile, the Phillies batters recorded eleven hits with Pablo Ozuna leading the attack with three hits as he goes 3 for 4 with an RBI, followed by both Greg Dobbs and Matt Stairs, who both had two hits, with Dobbs knocking in two runs and scoring one. Jason Donald, Jayson Werth, John Mayberry, Jr. and Eric Bruntlett had the other Phillies’ hits, with Werth’s hit being a solo home run as he knocked in two runs. The Phils also had three stolen bases, with Ozuna, Donald and Bruntlett each swiping a base. Mayberry and Donald continues to impress the powers that be with their hitting.
In other Phils news, Chase Utley played in a minor league game yesterday, going 2 for 4 as he played second base for four innings, showing that he hasn’t lost a step. If he can show this in regular spring training games, he should be ready to start at second base on opening night.
The Phillies next spring training game is this afternoon against the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:05 pm.
The Phillies loses another close game in Spring Training, this time in spite of taking the lead with a five-run sixth inning, thanks to Blaine Neal being unable to hold off the Pirates in the ninth, as the Phils lose 6-5. Joe Blanton starts the game off for the Phils, going four and two-thirds innings, giving up only two runs on five hits and a balk while he struck out two. Robert Mosebach follows for an inning and a third, giving up a run on two hits and a walk. Ryan Madson and Scott Nestor follows with both men pitching an inning in relief, with each giving up a hit apiece as Madson strikes out three batters and Nestor two. Blaine Neal pitches an inning, losing the game as he gives up three runs on three hits, with the big blow being Jeff Salazar’s three-run home run, and a walk while striking out one. Blaine’s spring training record is now 0-2 with a 23.63 ERA, as he is also credited with a blown save. So far this spring, the Phils first four starters are pitching well, while both J.A. Happ and Chan Ho Park are both pitching well to claim the fifth and final spot in the rotation. If this keeps up, the starting rotation might become the strength of the Phillies arsenal this season like the bullpen was last season.
Among the batters, the Phils were quiet for most of the game, but had a five-run explosion in the sixth. The batters had nine hits, with Jason Donald leading the way with two hits, as he went 2 for 5 with a run scored, as he now has a .361 spring training batting average. Eric Bruntlett, Raul Ibanez, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, John Mayberry, Jr., Miguel Cairo and Carlos Ruiz got the other Phils hits. Howard got two more RBIs with a two-run blast, his fifth home run of the spring, while Ibanez, Cairo and Ruiz knock in the other three runs. Donald is impressing the brass with his batting, as is Mayberry. Also, Pedro Feliz was in the lineup, playing third base for several innings, although going 0 for 2.
The Phillies continue Grapefruit League play by facing the Houston Astros this afternoon, while the Astros will also be involved in a split squad game with the New York Mets.
In other Phillies news, it has been announced that Chase Utley might be ready to participate in some games next week, putting him on schedule for actually playing on Opening Night next month with the Atlanta Braves. If so, that would be very good news for the Phils. And ex-Phil and now Tampa Bay Ray, Pat Burrell, took out a pair of big ads which appeared in yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer, thanking the fans for their support during his nine seasons as a Phil. A real nice move by Pat the Bat.
In Grapefruit League play, the Phillies would end up losing a close one to the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday afternoon, 3-2.
Jamie Moyer started the game for the Phillies, pitching his typical kind of game, as he would go five innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits and a walk while making some of the Rays batters look silly. J.A. Happ, who is still impressing in the race for the final spot in the starting rotation, would pitch the final three innings, giving up what would turn out to be the game winner, a solo home run to Gabe Kapler in the sixth, on four hits and a walk while striking out a batter. His excellent performances are presently putting him in the driver seat for the fifth starter spot in the rotation. Moyer would take the lost, with his Spring Training record falling to 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA.
Batting-wise, Rays’ pitching would silence the Phillies’ bat, giving up only three hits while striking out seven batters. Miguel Cairo would get two of the Phillies’ three hits, going 2 for 3 in the game and scoring a run. Andy Tracy would get the other hit, a two-out solo home run in the ninth inning. Ryan Howard would knock in the Phils other run, as he hits a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the seventh.
The Phillies continue Grapefruit League play with a home game in Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida with the Pittsburgh Pirates, that is presently in progress.
The Phillies have won the 2008 World Series, winning the series four games to one, as they would outscore the Rays in the final three and a half innings of this past Monday’s suspended game five, 4-3. As play resumed, Rays’ manager Joe Maddon would decide to leave Grant Balfour in the game. Pinch hitter Geoff Jenkins would be the first batter to face him in the Phillies’ half of the sixth, and he would greet him with a hard hit double to center. Jimmy Rollins would follow with an excellent sacrifice bunt, that would go 5-3 for the inning’s first out, as he would move Jenkins over to third base. Then, with the Rays’ infield pulled in to prevent a run, Jayson Werth would hit a pop up into shallow center field. Ray’s second baseman Akinori Iwamura would be unable to make an over-the-shoulder basket catch of the ball, as it would drop in for a RBI single, scoring Jenkins, and giving the Phillies a 3-2 lead. Balfour is then taken out of the ballgame by Maddon and is replaced on the mound by J.P. Howell. Howell would then end the inning by first getting Utley to strike out swinging for the inning’s second out, and after Werth would steal second, he would get Ryan Howard to pop out to third for the final out of the inning. Charlie Manuel would then put out in place of Cole Hamels, who is now in line to be the game’s winning pitching, Ryan Madson. Madson would proceed to strike out Dioner Navarro looking for the inning’s first out. But then he would give up a solo home run to Rocco Baldelli to left, tying the game up at three apiece, and thus denying Hamels his chance to make World Series history by winning all five of his starts. Jason Bartlett would then follow with a single. The next batter, Howell, would sacrifice the runner over to second, 1-4, for the inning’s second out, as he put a runner in scoring position. Madson is then replaced by J.C. Romero. Iwamura would then hit a ground ball towards second base, that Utley would be able to grab, but would then have no play to make at first, as Iwamura would get an infield single. But, Utley would then throw a strike towards home plate as he would see Bartlett trying to score from second on the play. His throw would beat Bartlett to home plate and then Carlos Ruiz would tag out a sliding Bartlett to keep the game tied at three all. In the Phillies’ half of the seventh, Pat Burrell would start the inning off with a double to left center field. As he would be replaced on second base by pinch runner Eric Bruntlett, the Rays would replace Howell on the mound with Chad Bradford. Shane Victorino would then hit the ball to the right side of the infield, after being unable to put down a bunt, for the inning’s first out, 4-3, while Bruntlett would move on over to third base. This move would once again force the Rays to bring in their infield. Pedro Feliz would take advantage of this move as he would hit a RBI single to center, scoring Bruntlett and giving the Phillies’ a 4-3 lead. Ruiz would then follow Feliz by hitting into a force out, 4-6, wiping out Feliz at second for the second out. Romero would then bat for himself and proceed to hit into a force out, 4-6, for the inning’s final out. Romero would then stay in to pitch the eighth. Chris Crawford would start the inning off with a single. B.J. Upton would then hit into a 6-4-3 double play, doubling up Crawford at second base, putting no one on base with two men out. Romero would then end the inning by getting Carlos Pena to fly out to left for the final out. In the Phillies’ eighth, the Rays would send out David Price to keep the game close. Prince would proceed to get Rollins to fly out to left for the inning’s first out and then would strike out Werth for out number two. Utley would then get on base with a walk. After Utley would steal second, Howard would end the inning by striking out. In the Rays’ ninth, the Phillies would hand the ball over to Brad Lidge to end the game. Lidge would get Evan Longorio to pop out to Utley for the first out of the inning. Navarro would then get on base with a single. Navarro would be replaced at first by pinch runner Fernando Perez, while pinch hitter Ben Zobrist would come to the plate. After Perez would steal second base, Lidge would get Zobrist out as he lines out directly to the right fielder for the second out of the inning. Maddon would then send out pinch hitter Eric Hinske to try and take the lead with one swing of the bat. Instead, Lidge would strike Hinske out for the game’s final out, as he would record his forty-eighth straight save in forty-eight attempts and his seventh save of the post-season, and lead to the start of a celebration among the Phillies, as they would win their second World Championship in the team’s 126 years of existance.
Cole Hamels would get a no-decision, as he would pitch six strong innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out three. Ryan Madson would pitch two-thrids of an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits, while striking out one. J.C. Romero would get the win as he pitches a scoreless inning and a third, giving up only two hits. His series’ record is now 2-0 with an 0.00 ERA. Brad Lidge would record his second save of the series, pitching a scoreless inning, as he would give up just a hit, while striking out one, as he records his forty-eighth straight save, and his seventh in the post-season. Scott Kazmir would also get a no-decision, as he would go only four innings plus two batters, giving up two earned runs on four hits, six walks and a hit batsman, while striking out five. Grant Balfour would pitch an inning and a third, giving up an earned run on two hits. J.P. Howell would get the lost as he would pitch two-thirds of an inning plus one batter, giving up an earned run on one hit, while striking out one. His series’ record is now 0-2 with an ERA of 7.71. Chad Bradford would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit. David Price would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up just a walk, while striking out two.
During the celebration, which would include Bud Selig giving David Montgomery, Pat Gillick and Charlie Manuel the World Series Trophy, Cole Hamels would be announced as being the 2008 World Series MVP. It would later be announced that the city of Philadelphia plans to hold its World Series parade on Friday. And it would appear that the parade wouldl be shown on at least one of the local networks. I can’t wait. 🙂
Now that the Phillies have won the series, I would like to first apologize for the number of times that I’ve shown a lack faith in the guys actually being able to get into the World Series. Next, I would like to laugh in the face of the so-called experts who during the post-season have never given the Phillies the chance to win the Series, including FOX. Ha-HA, in your face, experts. Lastly, I would like to congratulate the Tampa Bay Rays for doing as well as they did this season to get into the World Series as well. I am sure that they’ll be back in the series at some point during the next few years.
Next stop, the victory parade. I love a parade, etc. etc. 🙂