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2010 Game Recaps

Phillies save bats for nightcap, beat Marlins 7-4

Posted by Kieran Carobine, Mon, September 06, 2010 10:41 PM Comments: 0

For the first game of the day/night double header Charlie Manuel had given Jimmy Rollins the day off. He had been in a slump collecting only four hits in his last 30 at bats. For the nightcap, Rollins was reinserted into the lineup but not in his usual lead-off spot. That role was given to Shane Victorino.

Victorino did not let this chance go to waste. He went 3-5 as the top of the Phillies lineup exploded for seven hits and five RBIs between Victorino, Placido Polanco and Chase Utley. Rollins did have a hit batting in the fifth spot ahead of Raul Ibanez; who had two hits himself.

The five runs the Phillies put up in the second inning provided some breathing room for Roy Oswalt (11-13, 3.09) to do work. Oswalt pitched seven innings and allowed six hits and four runs. He struck out seven but did give up three home runs. Phillies’ starting pitchers have now given up nine home runs in the past four games. Brad Lidge pitched a scoreless ninth to get his 21st save. He is now 11 for his last 12 in save chances.

The Phillies offense managed to win this game and score seven runs without the use of the long ball. Something they have depended on in year’s past. The Phils are getting help from their pitching staff boasting a team ERA of 3.76 which is good for sixth best in the National League.

With the win tonight, the Phillies are now only a 1/2 game back of the Braves in the NL East and still 1 1/2 games ahead of San Francisco for the Wild Card.

Worth noting: Domonic Brown did get the start tonight in right field. While he didn’t collect any hits he did manage to stretch the pitchers collecting two walks in four at bats.

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Phillies Drop Brewers Finale, 6-2

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, September 05, 2010 07:11 PM Comments: 0

Brewers

Randy Wolf shut down the Phillies over 6 2/3 innings in the Brewers 6-2 win. Kyle Kendrick has not looked good in his last few starts. Today he allowed five runs in four innings, dropping his record to 9-8. The Phillies runs came in the second inning, as Carlos Ruiz brought home two runs with a double. For Milwaukee, Prince Fielder’s first inning homer was the difference.

Have a great holiday weekend and enjoy the doubleheader tomorrow against the Marlins!

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Phillies Hustle to 5th Straight Win

Posted by Brian Michael, Sun, September 05, 2010 01:29 AM Comments: 0

Things looked dire there for a little bit, but the Phillies prevailed tonight to hand Roy Halladay his 17th win of the season. Roy allowed four home runs for the first time in his career, yet fortunately for him (and most power pitchers) there were no runners on base and those 4 runs were all the Brewers could manage.

The Phillies were led by back-to-back homers by Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth to start their scoring. Hopefully Howard’s solo shot in the second only further fuels his September fire. The big story however was the Phils game-winning two-run sacrifice fly in the seventh. Down 4-3 with the bases loaded, Placido Polanco flied out to left. Carlos Ruiz chugged home beating the throw from Ryan Braun which sailed behind him up the third-base line. Seizing the opportunity, Wilson Valdez scampered home as well to give the Phillies the 5-4 lead.

J.C. Romero and Ryan Madson tag-teamed the eighth inning to set the stage for Brad Lidge. Without much drama, Brad locked it down for his 20th save on the season.

Meanwhile the Braves managed to beat Josh Johnson and the Marlins and remain a game ahead of the Phillies. The Phils recalled Scott Matheison earlier in the day. Vance Worley and Nate Robertson also made the trip south from Lehigh Valley and will find out Sunday along with the rest of us who will start the second game of Monday’s doubleheader.

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Phils, Hamels Take Series Opener over Brewers 1-0

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, September 03, 2010 10:48 PM Comments: 0

Cole Hamels pitched seven shutout innings in the Phillies 1-0 victory over Milwaukee. The lone run came on a Carlos Ruiz ground out in the second inning, which scored Shane Victorino. For Phillies pitchers, it was the 17th shutout of the season.

Atlanta lost 6-1 to Florida tonight, meaning the Phillies are now just one back in the NL East.

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Phillies Win Old-Fashioned Shootout in Denver, 12-11

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, September 02, 2010 11:51 PM Comments: 0

Add one part thin air, one part erupting offense, one part bad pitching and you get a Coors Original. Not the beer, but a shootout in Denver, just like old times.

The Phillies squeaked by the Colorado Rockies to take the May 11 makeup game, 12-11. Everywhere you looked, something was happening – good or bad. First, the good:

Chase Utley hit a game winning grand slam in the seventh inning, finally breaking out of his season-long slumber. Up until the past few days, he’d been struggling with his swing, and the question became: did Utley come back too fast after injuring a thumb ligament. He silenced the critics with a 2-for-4, six RBI night.

Ryan Howard also went yard in the nine-run seventh, a two-run blast. Howard has also been a relative absentee for the Phillies since his stint on the disabled list ended. That’s now two homers in the last three games for a guy who is notorious for heating up late in the year.

Jayson Werth would not be left out of the fun as he provided some power himself, something seldom seen this season. He hit the other homer in that ridiculous seventh inning, his 19th on the year. In all, 12 Phillies stepped to the plate, nine of them scored.

Offensively as a whole, the Phillies put together 15 hits. They battered the Rockies bullpen, but they themselves were nearly stripped of a win by their own relief crew.

After Joe Blanton was embarrassed, giving up six runs (four earned) over 10 hits in just 4 1/3 innings, the Phillies bullpen did little to give the faithful an easy feeling. Antonio Bastardo struggled through an inning before giving way to the fireworks. Chad Durbin came in the game at 12-7 and it quickly became 12-10. Romero and Contreras teamed up for a scoreless eighth, but the ninth inning was a nail biter.

Brad Lidge was duped by his defense on the first batter as Ryan Howard committed an error, allowing speedster Dexter Fowler to reach base. Red-hot Carlos Gonzalez singled to move Fowler to third a batter later, providing Troy Tulowitzki the opportunity to make it a one-run game. He did so on a fielders choice, and just like that a 7-3 Rockies lead, which had turned to a 12-7 Phillies lead, became 12-11 in the final frame.

Lidge was able to bear down, throwing his patented slider seven times in eight pitches to Clint Barmes and Ryan Spilborghs, both of whom he retired to end the threat. It wasn’t easy, but it is a victory for the Phils, and a big one at that.

Atlanta finally lost to the New York Mets tonight, so the Phils jumped to two back in the NL East and now have a two game lead in the Wild Card.

Hell of a road trip! They finish it 6-1 and now head back to Philadelphia for a weekend set with the Milwaukee Brewers. September has always been a favorite of Ryan Howard’s and the Phillies. They’ve proven that with two big wins to start it off.

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Phils Win, 5-1, in Escape from Los Angeles

Posted by Michael Baumann, Wed, September 01, 2010 06:19 PM Comments: 0

The Phillies seemed to put it all together for their fifth win on this California road trip, as La Furia Roja blasted past the Dodgers, 5-1. Jimmy Rollins led off with his seventh homer of the year, and one inning later, Shane Victorino followed suit. J-Roll would later add another RBI, driving in Domonic Brown with a double in the top of the 9th. Chase Utley doubled thrice from the two-hole, driving in insurance runs in the top of the 7th inning off converted catcher Kenley Jansen and in the 9th off Hong-Chih Kuo.

All told, the Phillies tallied 10 hits, seven for extra bases, and scored on each of the four Dodger pitchers.

Roy Oswalt, for his part, pitched very well in 6 1/3 innings, despite throwing 115 pitches and tying a career high with six walks. It looked like The Speedwagon would combine with Brad Lidge on a no-hitter for the second time in his career, at least until Casey Blake singled to right in the sixth inning for the Dodgers’ only hit off Oswalt.

The bullpen, which had been implacable in recent days, once again made things interesting. After J.C. Romero ended the seventh on a double play, Ryan Madson allowed a run in the eighth on a James Loney single, which missed being a home run by a couple feet. Though Jamey Carroll scored on the play, Matt Kemp missed second base initially, forcing him to go back and holding James Loney at first. That became important when the next batter, Casey Blake, grounded into a 6-3 double play. Instead of getting out of the inning, Madson would have faced Phillie Killer Rod Barajas with runners on second and third. Brad Lidge closed out a four-run game successfully for the second time in 17 hours.

Speaking of Barajas, he and Andre Ethier, who hit Phillies pitching like Chris Brown hit Matt Kemp’s girlfriend, combined to go 0-for-7 with a walk. No doubt their quiet afternoon contributed to the Phillies’ victory.

The sun gave outfielders fits all day long. Jayson Werth lost a Barajas pop-up in short right field in fifth inning, and Dodger left fielder Scott Podsednik lost no fewer than four fly balls in the sun–both home runs, plus Utley’s 7th-inning double and Brown’s 9th-inning ground rule double–thought relatively little damage came of these missteps.

Tomorrow, the Phillies head to Denver for a makeup game against the Rockies. Joe Blanton takes the mound for the Phillies against Gustavo Chacin Jhoulys Chacin.

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Phillies Catchers Clutch as Bats Break Out

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, September 01, 2010 01:30 AM Comments: 5

In case you’d forgotten, home runs are fun. The Phillies hit two of them tonight, one from Ryan Howard, the other from catcher Brian Schneider in the Phillies 8-4 win.

Both bombs were of the three-run variety, the first time that’s happened since June 29. Howard hit provided his first extra-base hit since July 27.

Schneider gave the Phillies fans something to cheer about early on, rather than dull, hitless baseball, which they’ve become accustomed too lately. His early launch led the way for an early hook for Dodgers starter Carlos Monasterios. The reliever-turned-starter lasted just two innings and 40 pitches before Joe Torre pulled him.

Carlos Ruiz then stepped in as a pinch-hitter for Schneider in the 7th inning, and delivered in a familiar spot.

With Jonathan Broxton inserted for the righty-righty matchup, Ruiz conjured up memories of earlier this month when he helped cap an improbable comeback. On August 12 at CBP, Ruiz doubled home the game-tying and game-winning runs as the Phils rallied from a 9-2 deficit with four in the eighth and four in the ninth for a 10-9 victory.

Tonight, the spot was far less dramatic, but Ruiz’s two-run double solidified the Phillies ownership of the former Dodgers closer.

Starter Kyle Kendrick was his usual self, giving up four runs on seven hits over five-plus innings. He did not strike out a batter.  KK started off shaky by walking in the first run of the game as the Dodgers loaded the bases within the first five batters. On that James Loney free pass, Scott Podsenik scored, but the damage was minimized as Kendrick induced a double-play by Casey Blake.

For the next three innings, Kendrick settled into a groove by retiring nine of the next 10 before Rod Barajas (yes, that #*%$@%! guy) singled to begin the fifth. The former Phillies catcher would score on a Jamey Carroll ground out in the inning, one that Jimmy Rollins may have had a play on at the plate.  Barajas is now hitting a ridiculous .500 (19-for-38) against the Phillies since he left in 2007.

James Loney struck again for LA in the sixth with a two-run home run to make a 6-4 game – the homer also chased Kendrick to the dugout, ending his evening.

After Kendrick was bounced, the Phils bullpen took charge by retiring the final 11 batters of the game. Durbin, Romero, and Madson all built a Bridge to Lidge, who finished off L.A. with a clean ninth.

Finally, a worthwhile offensive showing. Howard finished 1-for-4 with the home run and walk, but two of those outs were well hit balls. Chase Utley had been mired in a wicked slump since returning from a thumb injury, but he too put together a solid two-hit evening. Placido Polanco also had two hits after struggling through a 2-for-21 prior to tonight.

It was a solid, morale-boosting victory that runs the Phillies west coast-trip record to 4-1.

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Phils Make Like Machine Left in Rain, Get Kuroda’d

Posted by Michael Baumann, Tue, August 31, 2010 01:46 AM Comments: 81

Roy Halladay came within five outs of making history with a no-hitter again tonight. Just not the good kind. Dodger pitcher Hiroki Kuroda had a no-hitter broken up with one out in the eighth inning of a game Los Angeles went on to win, 3-0. If Kuroda had finished his no-hit bid, Halladay would have become the first pitcher since Juan Marichal in 1963 to throw a no-hitter and have a no-hitter thrown against him in the same season. The Phillies’ ace developed a crippling case of Cole Hamels’ Disease in Chavez Ravine, being undone by a series of soft bloop hits and a lack of run support.

For Kuroda’s part, he was outstanding, throwing a dizzying array of off-speed pitches to an impatient Phillies lineup. Despite hitting Jayson Werth in the second inning Kuroda faced the minimum through five. He later walked Carlos Ruiz in the sixth and Werth in the eighth before Shane Victorino got the only hit of the night.

The Phillies only threat came in the eighth, when Werth’s leadoff walk, followed by a Raul Ibanez fielder’s choice and Victorino’s hit brought the tying run to the plate. Kuroda struck out Carlos Ruiz, then Hong-Chih Kuo retired Mike Sweeney, who was pinch-hitting for Dom Brown, who, in turn, was pinch-hitting for Halladay. Kuo pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his seventh save on the year.

The Phillies, bizarrely, have had serious trouble with Japanese starting pitchers this season. They’ve faced 4 Japanese-born starting pitchers once each this season. They beat the Braves on May 9. Shane Victorino hit a solo home run off Kenshin Kawakami in the seventh inning of that game. That was the last run the Phillies have scored of a Japanese starter. Since then, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hisanori Takahashi, and Kuroda have combined to throw 22 consecutive scoreless innings. What’s more, Matsuzaka and Kuroda both took no-hitters into the eighth inning of their starts.

Game two of the series starts at 10:10 tomorrow night.

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Blanton, Victorino lead Phils past the Friars 3-1

Posted by Kieran Carobine, Sun, August 29, 2010 09:01 AM Comments: 28

It wasn’t the huge outpour of offense Philly fans have grown accustomed to in the past couple years. But last night for the Phillies; it worked. Locking up three runs on three hits was all Joe Blanton (6-6, 5.15) needed to get just his fourth decision in his last 12 starts. He is 3-1 in those decisions.

Shane Victorino had two of the three hits for the Phillies. Jayson Werth was the beneficiary of Victorino’s two hits scoring each time. Not to be out done, Shane also scored a run on a Mike Sweeney ground ball and saved another throwing out Nick Hundley trying to score in the fifth.

Padres’ starter Jon Garland (13-9, 3.29) pitched well going into the seventh inning allowing three runs, hits, and walks. His offense just couldn’t get anything together for him. Their lone run came on an RBI single by Garland.

The Phillies will look for the sweep later today sending the San Diego native Cole Hamels to the hill in a matchup of lefties. Clayton Richard will throw for the Padres. The Phillies are still two games back in the NL East but lead the Giants by a game and a half for the Wild Card.

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Lidge balked at save, Phillies win in extras 3-2

Posted by Kieran Carobine, Sat, August 28, 2010 08:06 AM Comments: 58

During the 2008 season it seemed Brad Lidge was unstoppable. And he pretty much was. He converted all 41 save opportunities during the regular season as well as seven more in the postseason. Lidge always found ways to get the job done. Now a days he is content on finding ways to blow the save.

Lidge entered the game in the ninth after Roy Oswalt (9-13, 3.12) pitched an incredible game going eight innings and only allowing one run. Oswalt was in line for the win and having only thrown 101 pitches many thought he could have finished off the game. Instead Charlie Manuel brought in his closer. Lidge allowed a lead off single to former Phillie Matt Stairs. He then intentionally walked Adrian Gonzalez before hitting Ryan Ludwick with an 0-2 pitch to load the bases. A balk would allow the runner to score from third and send the game into extras. It was Lidge’s fifth blown save in 22 chances.

The way the Phillies have been hitting lately, they were even lucky to have Lidge in a save situation. Coming into last night’s game the Phils had only scored seven runs in their last four games getting swept by the Astros at home. San Diego’s Mat Latos (13-5. 2.29) did a great job keeping the cold streak alive. Latos went seven innings allowing only one run on five hits.

The Phillies eventually would pick up their closer in the 12th inning when Jimmy Rollins scored the winning run on a Placido Polanco single. The box score will say Rollins scored on Polly’s single. What it won’t say is that Padres centerfielder Luis Durango made a perfect throw and Rollins had to adjust his slide going wide to avoid the tag. It was a slide that provoked adjectives like ‘fantastic’ and ‘unbelievable’.

Well whatever you thought it was, it was the game winner for a team that desperately needed a win. This win puts the Phillies only two games back in the NL East and tops in the Wild Card a half game ahead of the Giants.

Worth noting: Rollins was one of the few bright spots with three hits at the top of the lineup. Ryan Howard continues to struggle going 1 for 5 with four strikeouts.

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