Astros Sweep Phillies

Posted by Amanda Orr, Mon, September 07, 2009 06:24 PM | Comments: 47

Four years ago, Craig Biggio sent Billy Wagner’s offering into the left field seats, diminishing the Phillies’ Wild Card hopes.  The Astros completing a four game sweep isn’t as devastating, but it is still tough to take in.

J.A Happ was a late scratch due to a mild oblique strain suffered during batting practice.  Jamie Moyer was penciled in, but the short notice worked to his advantage.  Moyer pitched six innings, giving up two runs, three hits and one walk.  The only damage came on Hunter Pence’s 413-foot blast.  Beat that, Ryan Howard.

Howard’s RBI single gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead before Pence’s bomb.  Next, Howard hit an estimated 445-foot opposite field moonshot.  Howard and Raul Ibanez went back-to-back.  It was Ibanez’s second home run in 123 at-bats.  The Phillies led 3-2 headed into the seventh.

In a crucial situation in the sixth inning, Charlie Manuel opted to leave Moyer in, even though Michael Bourn was on base.  Moyer escaped the jam, something Chan Ho Park failed to do an inning later.  Miguel Tejada and Pence hit back-to-back doubles, tying the game at three.  Park, who normally does not walk many batters, walked three in a row (one intentional), bringing home the go-ahead run.  Manuel waited too long to make the call to Scott Eyre, who ended the inning without further trouble.

The Phillies were lucky it wasn’t worse.  But once again, the offense wasn’t able to do much.  They were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.  The small ball in the first inning worked, thanks to Shane Victorino’s steal and Howard’s single.  If they do more of this, they’ll see themselves putting up more runs.

Since 2004, the Astros have given the Phillies trouble.  They are 24-11, the highest winning percentage (.686) of any National League club against the Phillies. The last time the Astros swept the Phillies in a four game series was September 6-9, 1999.  It must not be a good time to face the ‘Stros.

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About Amanda Orr

Amanda Orr has written 714 articles on Phillies Nation.

Amanda has been writing for Phillies Nation since 2009.

  • Posts: 0 phils_ftw

    2-5 is not a good way to open the first week of September…

  • Posts: 0 alex

    phillies r going choke

  • Posts: 0 phils_ftw

    So are you, on your boyfriends dong.

  • Posts: 0 karen

    It may be negative, but I seriously see a possibility of this team not making the playoffs or losing in the first round. They seem dead…..I tend to blame that a lot on the decisions made by manuel but someone needs to go in there and lay it down so that they know what they need to do. I truly miss harry in times like this…he was down to earth and was able to inspire some on the team

  • Posts: 0 Michael

    we’re going to the playoffs.

    …we’re not gonna go far either. ’nuff said.

  • Posts: 0 BS

    It’s funny how much people panic based on a swing of 1 or 2 games. Had we split the series, no one would be saying much. Having been swept, suddenly everyone’s panicking, blaming Charlie, blaming Lidge, saying we’re not going to make the playoffs, we’re not going to go far if we make it. C’mon, chill out! It’s not a great way to start the month, but I’m certainly not going to freak out over a few losses.

    You win some, you lose some. This series hasn’t changed anything. We’re never as good as our hot streaks, and we’re never as bad as our cold streaks. We’ll be fine and we’ll make the playoffs. From then on, it’s anyone’s guess.

  • Posts: 0 karen

    I do not understand how this is not a time of reflection on the possibility that we might not be in the playoffs. If we were in any other division, we would not be in first place

  • Posts: 0 George

    If the putrid hitting continues no amount of good pitching can compensate. Three runs per game won’t get a team very far.

    I can expect an individual batter to slump from time to time; even two or three at a time. But the Phil’s hitters all do it simultaneously. I doubt “small ball” would work, because I don’t think anyone right now could lay down a bunt, they are all going so badly. (I will exclude Ryan Howard, who is hitting the way everyone else needs to.)

    It’s time to can Milt Thompson. No team in history has been so streaky. This one hits the skids for one-month intervals, and that is just unacceptable. It’s as if they need instruction which they simply aren’t getting from their alleged coach.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    The Phillies will be FINE people. STOP RELAX. These are not the Mets. They were looooossserrrs. We have 10 with the Nats, Mutts coming up. We just got to be postive. We also play the Fish. We will start hitting. RELAX.

  • Posts: 0 Radi0

    Fair enough. After we get swept by the Nats THEN we can start to officially worry, then?

  • Posts: 0 BS

    I’ll officially start worrying once we’re mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. This team has accomplished too much in the last couple seasons for me to lose faith in them.

  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    That would be the Fish who swept the Phillies the last time they played each other. If the Phillies hit the way they hit against the Astro’s (and the “lowly last place Pirates” we will not win any of the series against the Nats, Mutts and Fish. If we lose all those series, we are all of a sudden NOT in first place. Yes, now is the time to panic. Some people panic after 2 weeks of the season (WAY too early) some people panic at the All Star Break, also too early, but we are in the last month of the season, true we have a 6 game lead, but we are playing the SAME EXACT WAY the Mutts did in 07 and 08 in the last month. If the Marlins dont choke, and the Phillies continue to play this way, guess what. 6 games is NOTHING, if we dont take these series against NL East teams. How many games do the Phillies have left against the Marlins? I believe it is 6. Hmm. 6 game lead huh. If we have a 6 game lead going into a 3 game series, and get swept by the Fish, what is that, games. If we dont increase a little, and go in with a 3 game lead to the final series with the fish and get swept again, do we still have a lead? The point is the phillies are playing like CRAP! The Phillies are playing exactly like some are commenting, which is they are playing like the already won the division. True, I would rather them be ice cold right now, and turn it on with a week left, as long as we still have the division, but the division is not wrapped up. The Phillies continue to recieve GIFTS, i.e. the Marlins losing to the Nationals, but how many gifts will they continue to get?

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    We did the same thing when we hit that bad stretch against the AL. Toronto kicking our butts. Our pitching is fine. We will start hitting. The Marlins still have to play the Cards. Not easy.

  • Posts: 0 mikeB

    A good division leading team should maintain playing .500 baseball at least.

  • Posts: 0 MP

    It was a bad series late in the season. The offense will come around. The best remedy for a struggling offense? Nats pitching. Look we’re going to the playoffs and I still think we have the staff and offense to go far. People need to RELAX. Its a long season and we have plenty left to play were still like 20 games over .500 and we have a sizable division lead. I remember exactly one year ago after a bad series going into the one with Milwakee and people were saying the season was over.and we swept milwakee. Anything can happen in baseball and we are still contenders. If anything I think this sweep was a wake up call to the team. I’m predicting there gonna kick it into their usual September gear this week. And to all the people already giving up on this season, don’t. It aint over till its over.

  • Posts: 0 Whizwithout

    Im looking at this in an optimistic way…with 20 games left, id rather us get the slumpyness out of us and go on a streak n get hot right before the playoffs…the phillies wont play like this all september obviously..just put meyers in as the closer now tho, please

  • Posts: 0 Justin

    As far as blame goes, I think its perfectly fair to blame Lidge. He’s had so many “second” chances to get his act together, and if your manager saying in public, repeatedly, that he has faith in you really isn’t doing it, then guess what? It’s the Big Leagues. No one’s interested in your excuses, and that’s coming from me, a guy who is so poor athletically, I have nothing BUT excuses.

    A slump is one thing, but a season-long downward spiral into oblivion for someone whose position mandates that the game is LITERALLY in their hands every time they walk on the field is insanity.

    MAKE A CHANGE for god’s sake. What we’ve got isn’t working.

    And I guess it would probably help if the lineup was anything more than comatose.

  • Posts: 0 Whizwithout

    this is the way the phillies have been most of the season, real good, then real bad, not as consistent as last yr, but..if they get real good going into the playoffs, thats enough to win a WS (given that we fix the closer situation). When we are hot, we are just as good as any other playoff team

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    Jeff – ..Happ is a big concern…oblique/abdominal strains are notoriously the hardest to heal. (think out it – those muscles are used in some capacity in almost every moment me make. Look down at your stomach during exhale The abdominal muscles help force air out of the lungs by depressing the thorax. Also its easy to re-injury. Groin pulls and oblique strains brought on by chronic use can be early symptoms of Gilmore’s Groin, slap-shot gut or the sportsman herina (all the same conditon, just different names) which in sports like baseball that involve alot of torso rotation is a tear in abdonimal muscle, usually an oblique. Condrey just had another set back, probably went from strain to tear and that probably means surgery. Good thing Myers has been throwing to help out our beleaguered bull pen

  • Posts: 0 karen

    i certainly hope that happ is not out for as long as some have with the injury. hopefully it is just mild but i think the injuries are creeping up on us. i shouldnt have picked on the mets’ injury plagued season

  • Posts: 0 george55

    well, Happ got a case of the jitters and was afraid to go ouit to the mound last night….unreal
    Good to see Ibanez on steroids again….

    Phils are spiraling….Nats, in the spoiler roll are going to sweep….phils offense a disgrace……Chan Ho has a case of the loser disease and was horrible……this team is doing there best not to make the playoffs…..

    they do not deserve to go to the playoffs…they are not hungry enough..they are a disgrace..

  • [...]  Phillies Nation’s Amanda Orr recaps another ugly Phillies loss: J.A Happ was a late scratch due to a mild oblique strain suffered during batting practice.  Jamie Moyer was penciled in, but the short notice worked to his advantage.  Moyer pitched six innings, giving up two runs, three hits and one walk.  The only damage came on Hunter Pence’s 413-foot blast.  Beat that, Ryan Howard. [...]

  • Posts: 0 Jeff Y.

    george55 must me a Muts fan.

  • Posts: 0 bob

    Thank you Astros….

    This is a wake up call for this team to “get their ass in gear”.

    I am a supporter of Lidge, not sure what they are gonna do there. Whatever it is, I hope the person is ready to step in and do the job. Be it Lidge or someone else.

    A collapse CAN happen, no doubt about it. I think we’ve seen plenty of losing as Phillies fans to understand that. But I believe that this team is too good to let it happen to them. We don’t even need to be dominant to finish this season out. 2 out of 3 does the job every time. This team never makes it easy. The run starts now in CBP South, Washington DC. This was the site of an ugly 9-7 bullpen meltdown to put us 4 back in the NL East and Wildcard. We then returned home and swept the Brewers and never looked back.

    Yesterday was the start of something special.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    bob, I remember that meltdown against the Nats last year, I was there… leaving the stadium depressed because it looked like the Phillies weren’t gonna make it…


  • Posts: 0 bob


    I was there also, I met Harry Kalas outside the press entrance before going into the park. Walked away telling my friend that the end of last season was gonna be special. Remembered talking about having to get 2 of 3 from the Mets to stay in it.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    This is a winning team… they don’t give up. The one thing that I fear is that they could start to put too much pressure on themselves and that could be bad for the playoff run. If I told you that we would have a 6 game lead heading into the final three weeks of the season, you would feel pretty good about things. Instead, we have PANIC and DESPERATION. Cheer up, fellas… we’ll be ok. We’re a little banged up right now and that means we’re not going to be hitting on all cylinders. We have to iron some things out but I agree that we’re not as bad as our slumps and we’re not as good as our streaks… that means we’re somewhere between good and damn good.

    Wondering why the Phils haven’t announced a starter for Thursday.

  • Posts: 0 joedad

    Phils started last September losing 5 of the first 9. In 2007 they lost 5 of their first 6 and 7 of their first 11. Fans reaction in both of those seasons was much worse because the Phils were far behind the Mets in both seasons. I have no doubt the Phils will turn it around because they are a money team and will play well when they have to. Let the Mets, Yankees and Cardinals win the middle of the season championship while the Phils take the real championship.

  • Posts: 0 beta sigma shag

    My one big problem with last night was not pulling Chan Ho in the 7th, Do not get me wrong I think Park has pitched really well out of the pen this year. But last night with a one run lead why not go with match up pitching. Even if it is one batter at a time.
    But I am not panicing, I think the Nats will be a quick fix for the phillies right now. But the offense has to get more consistant if this team is going to go deep in the playoffs

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Some of you people are absolutely incredible. It gets really hard reading all this negativity all the time…..

    karen says at 7:06 PM “I seriously see a possibility of this team not making the playoffs.” karen…..we’re making the playoffs….ok?? Just stop it!!

    mikeB says at 8:31 PM, “A good division leading team should maintain playing .500 baseball at least.” mikeB…..exactly what amount of games are you basing that statement on??…..2 games, 10 games, 30 games??? EVERY good team in baseball history has slumps. It’s part of a V E R Y L O N G S E A S O N..

    These are just a few examples of the daily posts that are so hard to read sometimes. Yeah, I’m frustrated, too. It was an unpleasant weekend. There are concerns. Real ones.

    Thank goodness for the posters like bob and Manny and Don M (even though he’s in his “banned” mode) and there are others….because if not for them I wouldn’t even bother to go on this site.

    For all you posters that are so negative and even nasty at times…..what are you going to do IF the Phillies don’t repeat…..say they “suck”?? Call for Charlie’s head?? Demand that Pat Burrell comeback to replace Raul?? Act as if Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, et al should be traded??

    All of you should be grateful that the Phillies have put a competiive team on the field for the past several years. And are in a great position with their current roster and farm system to continue that for a long time. I’m not sure where else you can get the kind of entertainment value for your hard-earned dollars that you have been able to with the Phillies over the past several years.

  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    Nicely put Chuck, I am finding it more and more difficult to read these comments on here, Karen is one of the most negative posters I’ve ever seen, along with george and a few others. I got so annoyed with them on gameday I called them front-runners, and I’m sticking to that. You’d think the Phils were the Nats or O’s the way these people bash them. It’s like they expect the team to win EVERY series, maybe every game, it’s ridiculous.

    The Phils were just like this last year, I’ve said it at least 1000 times, but now they ARE the WFC, and they DO still have a decent lead in their division, my god, what is wrong with you? I think alot of these guys must be young and don’t remember the absolutely LOUSY teams we had for many, many seasons, this team has given us more in the last couple of years than ALL the Philly teams combined over the last decade or so.

    Honestly, I think they just enjoy b!tching and whining about it because it’s “cool” or makes them sound tough, which in fact it does the opposite. If you really think the Phillies are that crappy, take a look around the league, maybe become a Nats or Pirates fan if you’re that disillusioned with the WFC!

  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    Chuck, you’re absolutely correct. The whiners with their negativity are such bores. I appreciate constructive criticism as the next person but when you have someone like george55 posting mindless drivel on this site..well..it’s best to ignore it.

    And Chuck, we are a solid majority with our views as the 50 plus sold out games at CBP would confirm.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Yeah thats a little exteme…theyre going to make the playoffs and they will probably get back to the World Series. They will get it together in the clutch. Even if Lidge doesn’t get it together and they really do go with Myers down the stretch (which would be a huge shift in the organnization’s stance because it would basically mean that they would be forced to trade Lidge in the winter and either keep Myers as the closer or try to sign Valverde) they will STILL get back to the WS. I would be shocked if they removed Lidge from that role (because with a big money closer it means that you HAVE to trade or move him if hes not going to be your closer, because you cant pay him all that money to pitch in the 7th inning like BJ Ryan). I would be surprised.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Thanks guys, Georgie, Bruce, Geoff….for your support. I DO realize that there are way more positive and constructive things said on here than negative. I just had had enough this morning with all the BS posters. It’s comforting to know that there is a site like this where passionate, knowledgable fans can come together and share ideas about something that means so much to us all. GO PHILS!!!

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Now let’s get another division title!

  • Posts: 0 Adam F

    I still don’t ride with charlie manuel. I don’t think his decision making is that good. all he brings to the table is setting the right demeanor in the clubhouse.

    i.e. from yesterdays game… im confused why manuel didn’t double switch in the 8th. 8-hole hitter (pinch hitter matt stairs hitting for catcher carlos ruiz) makes the last out in the top of the eighth. phils turn to myers in the bottom of the inning and replace stairs with lefty catcher paul bako but instead of putting myers in the 8th spot and bako in the 9th they leave the pitcher in the 9-hole.

    now the atros closer valverde is gonna come in the 9th and hes a righty (lefties hit .280 against him this yr vs. .125 for righties). so instead of the lefty bako facing him as the 9-hole, the phillies pinch hit with the right handed hitter ben francisco in place of myers. francisco understandably strikes out.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Whatever, AdamF…..be negative. If YOU think YOU can do better than Charlie….and get us another title…. then call or e-mail Ruben and talk to him anout it. And let us all know how it is when YOU are on the hotseat for decisions you make that we may find questionable.

  • Posts: 0 Phan in TN

    how can grown men be so sensitive?

    using “whatever” like a teenage girl in an argument


    man-up folks

    i wonder how many of you people are actually from Philly

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Oh, so if we’re not from Philly (which I am, by the way) then we’re not man enough for you??

  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    Phan in TN, that was like, so, like lame or whatever, you are like, SOOO mature.

  • Posts: 0 mikeB

    Fans have a right to post positively, negatively or however they see fit. They spend their valuable time watching and listening to the Phillies, they passionately love their team and they want to see them win and do well. Those on here that do not like the negative posts do not have to read them. I do not like most of them either so I either read them and forget about them or just pass them bye or ignore them. Free speech in America. Remember? Some of you are taking some of the posts too seriously and personally. Reading too much into what people are posting, getting all huffy and puffy and over-reacting. Then the insulting comment posts begin insulting the person which should not be allowed on here.

    I realize that my comment is vague about a good division leader should maintain playing at least .500 baseball. I have been a Phillies fan for almost 50 years. I have seen the really good teams that have won over the years; Yankees, Reds, Cardinals, Dodgers, the Phillies and some others. Some of these teams that won their league or division over the years and led that league or division for the majority of the baseball season played good consistent baseball throughout the year. Seldom lost five or six games in a row and avoided the recurring losing streaks and I realize that I am remembering this without researching it. What I remember most is that they seldom had losing strings and lost whole series to inferior teams like the Phillies have this year to Houston, Toronto, Baltimore, etc.. So yeah, I am sticking to what I am saying in that a good division leading team , once that it establishes a division lead and stays in that lead for a reasonable amount of time, should be playing like a division leader, avoiding the long losing streaks and beating the inferior teams by taking the series against those inferior teams (winning 2 out of 3 or 3 out of 4 games in the series). The good teams were dominant back in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s and even in the 1990s with the Atlanta Braves and others. Now I realize it is not going to happen that way with every winning team. I guess what I am getting at with the Phillies is I see them play without inspiration and fail against the weaker teams and then I think, well, how in the world are they going to do in the playoffs and the World Series, if they make it that far, against the good teams that make it there? They will drop a series in regular games during the season once in a while and lose every now and then as was posted by someone because that is how baseball goes but in general, they are a division leader and should be playing as such, certainly not like they have been. You can post being as positive as you want and no amount of positivity will change the way they have been playing. I agree with those posting that we need to stay positive with our posts for the team for the future games.

  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    There is a difference between negative and truthful. This team OBVIOUSLY can be GREAT, BUT with 20 games left, they are playing like CRAP. That is not being negative, that is being truthful. The Phillies turned it on the last 2 years, with help from the Choke artists. What makes you so extremely confident that the Phillies can keep this lead going? In the last 13 games they have NOT scored more than 4 runs in any game, that against severl pitchers who would should have hit HARD. The pitching unlike the beginning of the season have kept us in games. We have lost quite a few lately (including currently losing the to Nationals), but the Offense is still ICE COLD. The point is IF they keep playing like they are right now, they may NOT win the division. True, with a 6 game lead, chances are good, but didnt we come back from a 7 game deficit to win the division with the help of the choking mets!

  • Posts: 0 JoeBlow

    Lets go Pedro…..

  • Posts: 0 mikeB

    Brian of CO; I could not have said it better. Great post!

  • Posts: 0 Phan in TN

    well said, Brian

  • Posts: 0 Phan in TN

    sorry for the double post but…

    MikeB, that was tremendously well written and i totally agree with you.

    I have the same amount of faith in my Phils as I did in the 70′s while I sat in section 525 at the Vet with my grandparents.

  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    Ahh the Vet. I miss that place. Some teams say home sweet home, I think the Vet was more like “crap sweet crap”, but that hell hole was OUR HELL HOLE. I loved that place. Truth be told, I have a picture of the Vet in my basement. :(

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